Moon for Sale
The Second Moon Race - Extraterrestrial Real Estate

Moon for Sale
The Second Moon Race - Extraterrestrial Real Estate

After 40 years, man is preparing to return to the Moon. But this time the astronauts won't just land on the Moon - they plan to stay. From his office in Nevada, Dennis Hope has spawned a multi-million dollar business selling lunar real estate.

But scientists believe the real prize is trapped in the Moon's rocks. It contains large deposits of an extremely rare gas called Helium-3. Could Helium-3 be mined and used as a new source of almost inexhaustible, clean and pollution-free energy on Earth?

Whoever succeeds in transporting Helium-3 back to Earth could solve the world's energy crisis. Who will win what has been dubbed the second Moon race? And should we be exploiting the Moon's valuable resources at all?

Extraterrestrial real estate is land on other planets or natural satellites or parts of space that is sold either through organizations or by individuals. Ownership of extraterrestrial real estate is not recognised by any authority.

Nevertheless, some private individuals and organizations have claimed ownership of celestial bodies, such as the Moon, and are actively involved in "selling" parts of them through certificates of ownership termed "Lunar deeds", "Martian deeds" or similar.

These "deeds" have no legal standing.

The topic of real estate on celestial objects within our solar system has been present since the 1890s.

Coming in and out of public focus for several decades, major notability was established for the idea in 1936. A. Dean Lindsay made claims for all extraterrestrial objects on June 15th, 1936 and sent a letter to Pittsburgh Notary Public along with a deed and money for establishment of the property. The public sent offers to buy objects from him as well.

A number of individuals and organizations offer schemes or plans claiming to allow people to purchase portions of the Moon or other celestial bodies.

Though the details of some of the schemes' legal arguments vary, one goes so far as to state that although the Outer Space Treaty, which entered force in 1967, forbids countries from claiming celestial bodies, there is no such provision forbidding private individuals from doing so.

Many states and countries have corollaries to their real estate and property laws to prevent wanton claiming of new-found lands, that state that a simple claim to the territory is not enough; the claimant must also demonstrate "intent to occupy," something that, at this time, is obviously difficult to do with the Moon or any other celestial body.

Considering these facts, legally, the schemes' "deeds" have only symbolic or novelty value and no official governing body in the world has yet granted any legal validity to them.