Wed 7 May 2008
(Submitted by Dave Wasser, Austin Texas)
Can real estate on the Moon be legally claimed, owned, and resold here
on earth, without violating international laws? People have wondered about
it for decades. It has always been considered a gray area because no
international treaties specifically allow it or disallow it.
Now for the first time a law journal article argues it is perfectly legal for
a privately funded space settlement to sell deeds to lunar (or Martian) real
This is an incredibly important issue because real estate would be a catalyst
for privately funded space development. Without the ownership of Lunar
real estate there is no economic incentive for private industry to invest the
billions of dollars to get there – and stay there.
The article, entitled “Space Settlements, Property Rights, and International
Law: Could a Lunar Settlement Claim the Lunar Real Estate It Needs to Survive?”
appears in this week’s issue of the SMU Journal of Air Law and Commerce: