General Question

ibstubro's avatar

Who owns the moon?

Asked by ibstubro (12180 points ) December 15th, 2013

China recently became the third country to steer a spacecraft on the moon.

The third, behind the USA and Russia.

If a new technology made transport of materials to/from the moon to Earth cheap and easy, how would ownership, rights and jurisdiction be established?

Would it be more civilized and orderly than the American Gold Rush?

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8 Answers

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

At the moment, the Chinese.

gasman's avatar

Outer Space Treaty
It exclusively limits the use of the Moon and other celestial bodies to peaceful purposes and expressly prohibits their use for testing weapons of any kind, conducting military maneuvers, or establishing military bases, installations, and fortifications (Art.IV).

The treaty explicitly forbids any government from claiming a celestial resource such as the Moon or a planet, claiming that they are the common heritage of mankind.[3] Art. II of the Treaty states that “outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means”. However, the State that launches a space object retains jurisdiction and control over that object.[4] The State is also liable for damages caused by their space object.[5]

Originally created in 1967, it’s why, when Neal Armstrong planted the US flag a couple years later, he couldn’t claim the moon for the United States!

Unfortunately I don’t know if China has signed the treaty.

Seek's avatar

^ According to your link, China has signed and ratified the treaty.

I would also like to add that no major spacefaring nation has signed or ratified the Moon Treaty, which would ban military use of the Moon and other celestial objects.

gasman's avatar

According to your link, China has signed and ratified the treaty. Thanks, @Seek_Kolinahr—somehow I couldn’t find it.

Seek's avatar

^ No problem. It was on a map chart on the right, about halfway down the page.

ucme's avatar

With it’s confiscation of the moon, China now controls the Earth’s tides.

antimatter's avatar

It’s safe to say who ever plants their flag there.

bolwerk's avatar

This man claims to own the moon.

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