There is currently no law governing property ownership or protection of our planet’s only moon. The only relevant agreement is The Outer Space Treaty of 1967, but the language of the treaty is not specific and leaves possible legal loopholes.
There is currently no law governing private property ownership of our planet’s only moon.
The only relevant agreement is The Outer Space Treaty of 1967, but the language of the treaty is not specific and leaves possible legal loopholes.
Michael J. Listner, a lawyer based in New Hampshire specialising in space policy, is quoted as saying: “It strictly prohibits claims by sovereign nations, but it does not expressly prohibit private entities from claiming private property rights. Depending on who you talk to, that omission creates a loophole for private ownership rights.”
Experts believe that there might be valuable resources like minerals and other rare elements there, but so far the rules regulating who has property rights to the moon only appear to cover nations. The 1984 Moon Agreement attempted to address this, but space faring countries like the US, China and Russia did not ratify it.
Among the most sought after resources on the moon is the helium 3 isotope, an important gas used for fueling nuclear fusion reactors.
The latest lunar rover, China’s Jade Rabbit, was sent to the moon with a primary mission to drill and analyze the moon rock, but it malfunctioned before fulfilling this goal.