Own Property on the Moon
- Posted on April 14, 2014
By Barbara Bartlein
Recent claims of "owning the moon" by Russia and the United States present a very interesting question: Exactly, who DOES own the moon? If anyone can place a claim, then I would like to throw my hat in the ring and claim ownership too.
While the moon may appear to be just a pile of rocks, it is worth a fortune for mining. It has many minerals that are hard to find on earth, such as the "rare earth elements" like titanium and uranium. But the big prize is the lighter isotope of helium, known as helium-3. This gas is the critical fuel for nuclear fusion reactors, which promise an energy yield many times higher than the present generation of fission-powered reactors. Helium-3 costs roughly $10m a kilo. Though we don't yet have commercial fusion reactors, these might not be far off. When they arrive, the demand for helium-3 will outstrip supply, and the easiest place to get more will be from moon rock. It couldn't be easier: heat the rock and the gas comes out.
The moon could also become a tourist attraction with an upscale resort built for the ultimate adventure vacation. Wealthy individuals are already booking space travel, why not a stop at the moon? There could be deluxe accomodations, space food, and a museum outlining the history of space exploration. Great for a family reunion.
Think we can't own the moon? It's already been done. Francis Williams, who estimates he has sold over 500 million acres of moon land, filed a "declaration of ownership" with the U.N. along with the United States and Russian governments.
Williams, owner of MoonEstates, received his license to sell lunar land in the UK from Dennis Hope. In 1980, the Nevada-based entrepreneur claimed ownership of the moon after finding what he calls a loophole in the 1967 United Nations Outer Space Treaty, which forbids countries from owning the moon but, according to Hope, does not forbid individuals from owning it. He claims to have sold around 300,000 acres of moon land since he founded the company eight years ago. One-acre plots of lunar turf go for about $40.
There's a lesson in this moon story for entrepreneurs. Having big, audacious, goals and plans can result in all sorts of opportunities. The successful business person looks at things differently. A century ago, there were lots of people who thought man would never fly.