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FAQ #24: What do the experts say about this idea?

Esther Dyson, the world famous technology consultant, says "I like this idea. It would create a broad constituency to do something, sort of a cross-border would- be citizenry of the moon that I hope can spur governments and investors to action!"

Peter Diamandis, creator of the X Prize, says "I agree, ownership will be the only powerful driver to open our frontier."

Rosanna Sattler, the late prominent space lawyer of Posternak Blankstein & Lund of Boston said, "Although commercial space law is still in its infancy, the authors' call to enact space legislation based on the principles of the Deep Seabed Mineral Resource Act would be a great leap forward in the quest for economic expansion in the high frontier."

Dr. Jeff Fisher, Director of the Center for Real Estate Studies and Professor of Finance and Real Estate at the Indiana University School of Business, points out "How many people are rich today because their great-great-grandparents happened to have some land that at the time was not considered useful for development?"

Space Entrepreneur Gregory Bennett, says "[Land claims recognition] clears the legal path for everything we want to do in the realm beyond the sky. This may be the most realistic and achievable way to accomplish our goal of establishing permanent humansettlements on the moon. It is certainly a necessary step."

The 2011 law school textbook from Westview Press, "International Law", Silverburg, ed., contains a full chapter supporting the idea. The Space Settlement Initiative has been endorsed by the Space Colonization Technical Committee Of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) as well as by The Moon Society, The Artemis Society, Stephen Ashworth's Space Age, and Red Colony.

Strip of lunar land
image credit: NASA

Questions & Answers about Lunar Land Claims Recognition

Note: The first 25 FAQs below are reprinted from the Space Settlement Initiative website.

  1. What is the real purpose of enacting a Lunar land claims recognition law?

  2. Will promising property rights be enough to produce the necessary investment in developing affordable space transport?

  3. What does international law say about private property ownership in space?

  4. Can there be property ownership without national sovereignty?

  5. What if other nations refuse to recognize land claims in space?

  6. Why not allow smaller, limited land claims for easier steps than settlement?

  7. Could lunar land really be worth enough money to make a difference?

  8. What conditions should the US set for recognition of a claim?

  9. How much land should a settlement be able to claim... and why?

  10. Why must the Earth-Moon space line and settlement be open to all paying passengers regardless of nationality?

  11. Wouldn't it help if a major company announced that, if a land claims recognition law were passed, it would try to develop affordable space transport?

  12. Are the weaknesses and compromises in this plan likely to be permanent?

  13. Didn't the earliest version of this plan talk about Lunar "land grants"? Why aren't you using that phrase any more?

  14. Did land grants work in the past, on Earth?

  15. You can't farm Lunar land, and Earth doesn't need the Moon's minerals. So how could Lunar land be put to profitable use?

  16. If you can't give figures, now, proving the profitability of the end uses of Lunar land, how could anyone raise big money for Lunar land?

  17. Could other sources of revenue be enough without land claims recognition?

  18. What if the Lunar settlement does not produce enough operating revenue to pay off its debts and make a profit?

  19. Could this law produce a new "space race"?

  20. Why is U.S. legislation, in particular, so important?

  21. Could the U.S. withdraw from the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, claim national sovereignty on the Moon, then award property rights to whomever it pleased?

  22. What about defense? Does recognizing a land claim obligate the U.S. military to defend the Lunar settlement?

  23. What effect would this have on NASA and the aerospace companies?

  24. What do the experts say about this idea?

  25. Who came up with this idea?

More FAQs

The FAQs above cover basic questions about Lunar Land Claims Recognition. The following questions address more advanced issues.

  1. If we really went to the Moon in 1969, why aren't we there now?

  2. What were the assumptions before the Outer Space Treaty, (e.g. Robert Heinlein)?

  3. Should Lunar government be modeled after Antarctica?

  4. Could the UN just give every nation a portion of the Moon to own, thereby creating valuable Lunar property rights?

  5. Why don't space activists convince the public to support a government program to establish a base on the Moon and Mars?

  6. Will changing how NASA works bring the taxpayers back on board?

  7. What would Land Claims Recognition cost the US Government?

  8. What will this legislation do for general economic growth?

  9. Who would issue and record Lunar land deeds?

  10. Why are Lunar land sales necessary?

  11. Could this law force the US to recognize a foreign government's Lunar land claim?

  12. Shouldn't we wait to put such a law into effect until free societies are ready to settle the Moon, to keep it from encouraging the Chinese?

  13. Would Article VI of the Outer Space Treaty prohibit Lunar land claims recognition?


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Every revolutionary idea passes three stages:
  1. It's impossible.
  2. It's possible but not worth doing.
  3. I said it was a good idea all along.
- Arthur C. Clarke
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