PDA

View Full Version : Buying / Selling Extra-earth land



j0seph
2005-Aug-22, 12:41 PM
I've seen numerous offers around the internet (as well as heard friends talking about it) about buying land on the moon, now, no doubt some of these internet offers are scams, but when it comes to actually aquiring land on the moon, who has the right to own it first? who should collect the money (if any)?
I'm thinking the people with the means to get to it, and actually build things upon it first, are allowed to claim it. but that doesnt mean they can go wild with what they claim, they should have some type of conditions for claiming land... I have no idea how it all works, so if someone does could you please enlighten me? :)

antoniseb
2005-Aug-22, 02:24 PM
Originally posted by j0seph@Aug 22 2005, 12:41 PM
I have no idea how it all works, so if someone does could you please enlighten me?
No one has the right to sell real estate off the Earth. If you have a deed to some acreage on the Moon or Venus, or whatnot, you have contributed to some fun and frivolous fuindraising effort.

j0seph
2005-Aug-22, 09:47 PM
lol, I'm not asking because I bought land (i have no use) :), I just don't know how people in 80 years will deal with it... ;)

Dave Mitsky
2005-Aug-23, 09:02 AM
The 1967 United Nations Outer Space Treaty prohibits governments from owning extraterrestrial property but, unfortunately, says nothing about individuals or corporations doing so.

For more see http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/myst...day_040202.html (http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/mystery_monday_040202.html)

Dave Mitsky

tater1337
2005-Aug-23, 12:52 PM
I've chatted with a few of these places, and yes, they admit that they cannot uphold the deed/title for property.

I've heard that some celebrities have purchased plots. If I get the chance I plan on invading........

j0seph
2005-Aug-24, 11:36 PM
Originally posted by tater1337@Aug 23 2005, 12:52 PM
I've heard that some celebrities have purchased plots. If I get the chance I plan on invading........
Thats got to be the funniest thing I've heard all day. But yeah... I think there needs to be a 'Galactic Government' of a sort, but it would be composed of reprsentitives of each nation on earth (currently existing only), and have land alloted according to population... and people living on this land would pay taxes which would pay for a millitary force to protect their property (within the home-country's boundries)

jkmccrann
2005-Aug-25, 02:30 AM
Definitely, in time i would agree there needs to be some sort of 'Galactic Government', but i think you're looking thousands of years into the future when you start talking in Galactic terms. Personally, i think there needs to be some sort of UN consensus on how to treat space, as they are the current international arbitors with the most credibility they basically need to set up some sort of organisation to deal with Issues in Space particularly in relation to land rights etc., mining permits, how to treat space, what needs to be protected in space, what needs to be promoted, creating real regulations to govern the use of space by individuals, corporations and governments etc.

In time, when the balance of human activity is in some way space-related and the Solar System is truly the playground of humanity rather than the wild and untamed `forever' of the current day, perhaps such an organisation would even supercede the body that created it, the UN. But that is a long way off.


For instance, in terms of asteroids, I don't really know if there are really that many of them that have any sort of historical resonance or unique qualities that need to be protected. In terms of historical significance I would nominate Ceres, Juno, Pallas & Vesta as being a class apart because they heralded a new chapter in our understanding of the Solar System, but apart from those 4, the thousands of other asteroids between Mars & Jupiter really don't hold anything that really sets them significantly apart from their brethren. If you see what I mean. So, in terms of developing them, mining them, exploiting them, there really shouldn't be too much red tape thrown in the way of companies willing to strike out in that direction.

In terms of pulling all these ideas about perhaps how best to manage the exploitation and exploration (exploiration) of space over the coming centuries, I am in the process of setting up an organisation (the Solar Council) to explicitly deal with these issues. There is nothing really there as yet, but www.solarcouncil.com is the location of this idea and will be developed over the coming months to outline and represent what I'm talking about, which is heavily related to just this topic really.

Any comments or questions or more pertinently suggestions can be directed to me at jkmccrann@solarcouncil.com. I of course welcome any and all suggestions on this topic.

I guess one of the initial things that I'd like to draw-up is a list of `protected' heavenly spheres. Those that can't be wholly owned by any one corporation, government or individual, those that have some sort of scientific merit to leaving them alone for the minute. Last time I thought about this I thought of about 30? objects in the Solar System that for one reason or another should be left alone and protected from any sort of exploitation or ownership.

Basic List I can remember, Mercury, Venus, Earth, the Moon, Mars, Jupiter, Io, Europa, Ganymede, Callisto, Ceres, Juno, Pallas, Vesta, Saturn, Titan, a couple of the other moons, Enceladeus & Iapetus maybe?, Uranus, a couple of Uranian moons as well that escape my memory, Neptune, Triton, Nereid, Pluto, Charon (only because of historical reasons and the fact it's the first 'double-(minor)planetary' - for the record, i don't consider Pluto a planet anymore) system ever discovered, Halley's Comet (purely historical reasons). I would suspect there in particular more moons of the gas giants that could be added to this list, but I'm not overly familiar with the smaller moons of the gas giants.

I invite everyone to nominate other objects that would also require inclusion on a `protected' list.

Two moons that I don't believe deserve any sort of protection and are deliberately left of the above list are Phobos & Deimos of Mars. I think they would make prime real-estate for any budding mining company or indeed any other company with aspirations for Mars and I think it would be an interesting concept and an interesting test-case to auction them off perhaps sometime this century.

There could be different types of auction.

Given no one is actually there currently and no one will be there for any length of time really, perhaps one type of auction to hold would be for the right to go there, perhaps with some sort of time-limit on it. Such that, a mining company could buy the rights to go to Deimos perhaps, but that if they didn't get there and establish some sort of permanent presence there within 50 years, they would automatically forfeit that right, rather than an outright sale of the moon. Or perhaps there could be an outright sale of the moon? But how much is a place like Deimos worth, a few billion dollars perhaps? Or are we talking hundreds of million dollars? Does anyone have any idea on that front?

I guess one reason I raise the issue of selling these rights is because some sort of system like that could be one way of initially funding an over-arching organisation governing how to carve up space as real regulations to govern the organisation were being developed. There would of course be many categories for different objects, and perhaps it would only hold title over Inner-Solar System objects, those this side of Neptune. Objects beyond Neptune, TNOs for instance could be available to the first in best dressed as an incentive to develop methods to get to and return from the Outer-Solar System and claim large numbers of the icy objects out there.

I of course welcome any ideas on this front.

Cheers.

j0seph
2005-Aug-25, 03:03 AM
I&#39;d be happy to help contribute to this endevour, I think it&#39;s about time we start to lay down some rules, but somehow I think we will not have much influence on the people who actually pass these laws <_<

jkmccrann
2005-Aug-25, 08:48 AM
True, but i don&#39;t think anyone in such positions is really considering these sort of issues at the moment, and to be honest, they&#39;re not likely to really be considering these issues in any depth for probably 15-20 years at an absolute minimum, so it has to start somewhere. Those time horizons are why i&#39;m not really in any great hurry at the moment, but i guess i would like to make some sort of contribution to this whole debate, this whole new area so i think the Internet is a great tool for reaching a wide number of people if you can utilise it properly.

Galactic2000
2005-Aug-25, 08:07 PM
We can&#39;t claim any of it, as Aliens may have already claimed these places, and we just don&#39;t realize this yet&#33;

LOL&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33;

Eventually all governments will have to be involved.

But it will be a while before this happens, unless the Chinese try to claim something when they arrive on the moon.

Maybe a real Star Wars then&#33;

LOL again&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33; :D

It&#39;s just like naming a star for a loved one, its a money making gimmick...............

Only the IAU can officially assign names to celestial bodies&#33;

International Astronomical Union
;)

antoniseb
2005-Aug-25, 09:02 PM
Originally posted by jkmccrann@Aug 25 2005, 08:48 AM
i don&#39;t think anyone in such positions is really considering these sort of issues at the moment, and to be honest, they&#39;re not likely to really be considering these issues in any depth for probably 15-20 years at an absolute minimum, so it has to start somewhere.
I don&#39;t think the model that was used for property ownership for Europeans when the "New World" was claimed makes sense, but it does bring up a giant issue, namely who gets to keep track of claims and ownership, and who gets the revenues from the initial auctions (or other means of assignment). What body of goverment could be used to resolve conflicts over claims?

The general issue of trying to reserve certain bodies as parks or historic sites seems kind of like an unimportant detail compared to any of the above.

piersdad
2005-Aug-25, 09:29 PM
Well I am selling icebergs from the antartic :D
as pleasure homes for the rich.
they pay me for the technology of preserving the icebergs in temperate climates such as the equator and as well for the luxuries ive built on the iceberg.

so this would be the same as selling land on the moon.
it would be useless unless the owner of the land had put billions of dollars making it usefull.

the concept of land &#39;ownership&#39; should be discarded and replaced with the concept of land development

Quantum Complex
2005-Aug-26, 03:24 AM
Originally posted by Dave Mitsky@Aug 23 2005, 09:02 AM
The 1967 United Nations Outer Space Treaty prohibits governments from owning extraterrestrial property but, unfortunately, says nothing about individuals or corporations doing so.
That&#39;ll change, once people actually have colonization on their mind I doubt that UN will stop the governments trying to own it.

That would be like a treaty in Europe being signed in the 1500s that no-body will own land from the Americas.

j0seph
2005-Aug-26, 03:46 AM
Originally posted by antoniseb@Aug 25 2005, 09:02 PM

I don&#39;t think the model that was used for property ownership for Europeans when the "New World" was claimed makes sense, but it does bring up a giant issue, namely who gets to keep track of claims and ownership, and who gets the revenues from the initial auctions (or other means of assignment). What body of goverment could be used to resolve conflicts over claims?
I think that the initial revenues should be channeled towards the development of the land itself as well as research into new resource mining methods and such or maybe, all of the money gathered from the auctions should be averaged into little chunks then just distribute it among all of the buyers :)

Quantum Complex
2005-Aug-26, 03:46 AM
Ooh, look at my new avatar&#33; Yay&#33;

Okay hype over.
:D

aeolus
2005-Aug-26, 11:57 AM
Governments will be involved. Lets say an individual or corporation goes to the moon and starts mining. This is part of the moon, and if they bring it back and sell it here, they are claiming it as property. Maybe a corporation will claim the land on the moon, but I&#39;m sure that corporation will get lots of funding, grants, and perks from it&#39;s government here on Earth.

j0seph
2005-Aug-26, 12:38 PM
True, and other countries would be for a lack of a better word &#39;jelious&#39; so they might try to set up their own mining operation. soon, they start exploring the rest of the moon, they hit upon a deep vein of something, they start arguing, then WWIII&#33;&#33; and I think that is neither worst nor best case scenario ;)

jkmccrann
2005-Aug-28, 11:47 PM
Definitely a lot of interesting points raised here and a lot of interesting opinions to be considered in this area. In terms of all the various possibilities, obviously the governments here on Earth will need to be involved, and it will obviously be the governments of the more powerful nations that will have the biggest say in how this whole enterprise opens up and what sort of system is adopted in the end.

I would just say, perhaps this is an area where the United Nations and the IAU could come together to help bring differing nations to some sort of agreement, but that allied with all this, the general community that takes an interest in this sort of thing could in the mean-time take the lead and develop some sort of workable framework for these bodies to consider implementing and debating. It's got to come from somewhere, and even if a framework is developed outside the recognised bodies it doesn't necessarily mean it lacks any substance.

In terms of having a website, solarcouncil.com, it's primary purpose is to promote the development and the exploitation and exploration of the Space, but particularly the Solar System. It's early days yet and the only thing you can do there currently is email me, but in time it will be part of the broader debate about just these issues raised here.

I of course encourage any and all contributions on this topic and feel free to email me with them. cheers.

jkmccrann
2005-Sep-08, 09:34 AM
Just on this topic, how much do people think the two moons of Mars would fetch at some sort of auction? Phobos and Deimos of course, does anyone think we're talking millions? tens of millions? hundreds of millions? or even billions? they are of course members of a very exclusive club, Martian moons, but apart from that is there really that much that ups their value? What does everyone think?

Matthew
2005-Sep-08, 10:30 AM
Deimos has a mass of 2.2e15 kg. Now thats a place with no restrictions on mining, no worrying about activists protesting about destruction of the environment. Its worth billions, imagine all the rare minerals that would be there! And it might be on the surface which would make things a lot easier.

Jens
2005-Sep-08, 10:49 AM
In terms of pulling all these ideas about perhaps how best to manage the exploitation and exploration (exploiration) of space over the coming centuries, I am in the process of setting up an organisation (the Solar Council) to explicitly deal with these issues.

Great idea, but terrible logo (sorry!).

Just as an initial idea, it would make sense, given the enormity of the resources available at present, to basically take a policy of granting land rights to those who actually occupy an area and make use of it. So if a group sets up a colony on the moon, give them land rights to that area of the moon, but nothing beyond it. If they start mining an area, give them rights to that too. If a company wants to exploit resources from an asteroid, give them the asteroid. And basically, first come first served. And the revenues from taxation on resource use or whatever could be given to the UN (or the Solar Council if it ever develops that far).

I don't think, at this point, that there's any need for protected areas, because there is just so much stuff out there in comparison to the effect we might make. A rational thing to do would be to require that people settling or exploiting some resource must make data or samples available to the public, just in the same way that building contructors have to do archeological surveys to make sure there are no scientific resources that will be destroyed. Given the number of asteroids, for example, giving one to a company in exchange for data on the composition, etc., would be a very good deal.

jkmccrann
2005-Sep-10, 08:38 AM
I agree the logo needs a bit of work, don't worry about it, just a rough design my girlfriend scribbled! When I actually get around to making a proper site I'll see to it that everything looks like a bit of work has gone into it!

As for first-come-first served, i tend to agree, i guess in terms of mentioning protected objects, i'm thinking of things like Saturn's rings as well, what happens in first come first served if someone decides the most economic way to mine the system is to mine Saturn's Ring system? Do we just allow them to be mined and eradicated from the map? I think in any development of the Solar System things like that are worth protecting.

In terms of the Moon, Mars and other objects like that, in terms of protected, I don't mean the whole object, but I don't think objects of that importance should ever be completely sold off to one enterprise or one company, or even one government. Other objects, like most of the asteroids, who cares if a company owns the whole rights to that?

I guess when I mention the word `protected', I'm placing certain objects of some significance, either historically/culturally - Halley's Comet for instance, militarily - the Moon, or other `special' (and i hate using that term but i'm a bit time-pressed) objects for some readily idenitfiable reason, that these objects and their circumstances need to be approached on an individual basis.

The four Galilean moons of Jupiter for instance all have certain unique characteristics, and I'm including their prime location as one of those characteristics, that mean, IMO, they should not ever be allowed, or at least not before we're a proper space-faring community, to fall under the aegis of any one individual, corporation, entity. They're just too important. \

Most asteroids, and indeed most moons of the planets fall outside any special consideration, but I believe that perhaps 30-50 objects warrant some kind of protection, and maybe special consideration is a better term to use, to prevent them being abused in any way, and again I'd bring up Saturn's Rings.

I guess something to add would be, although Saturn's Rings, IMO, should be protected at all costs as a lasting monument to the beauty of our Solar System, there should be nothing to prevent an enterprising company taking control of the Rings Systems of the other gas giants. If someone was able to use all the material in the Uranian Rings to create something worthwhile, even at the cost of their being no Uranian Rings left, I would say definitely, go for it!

Jens
2005-Sep-10, 12:53 PM
No disagreement from me about the rings of Saturn and about Halley's comet. They both seem to be potentially fragile and deeply symbolic, so fine, let's protect them. Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto are a different story, though. They're so huge, I don't think there's any reason to treat them any differently from the moon. If a company starts exploiting some site, give it ownership of that site alone.

Actually, there may be other places that could be added to a protected list. For example, the "face" of Cydonia, maybe Olympus Mons.

ASEI
2005-Sep-10, 01:07 PM
If you want people to develop or live somewhere, you'll have to give them ownership of it. A. You won't be able to stop them. B. If you do stop them, you won't find anyone else willing to colonize space. No one is going to pay millions, pack up a small amount of mass worth of personal belongings to go settle the moon, if they don't get to own their portion of the colony. If some unaccountable buereaucrat in Brussels or NY is the arbitrator of the colonist's property rights, no one can trust that their efforts to build something for themselves won't get taken and given to some other interest.

That said, I don't think anyone can realistically hold space-based land as property unless they're using it for something. And there is an advantage in space-based territorial disputes over that of earth based territory - Worthwhile structures and processing equipment, ect, are all manmade. This means they have a natural owner, as opposed to the natural resources of earth. If you fight off the legitimate owner of a territory legally and he takes his capital with him when he goes, all you're left with is a bunch of bare regolith. The value of the machinery which makes any given patch of territory work is going to be far greater than that of the territory itself.