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Extraterrestrial real estate From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (Redirected from Dennis Hope)

The Moon as seen by an observer from Earth. Some people claim that private ownership of theMoon might be possible.

Extraterrestrial real estate is land on other planets or natural satellites or parts of space that is sold either through organisations or by individuals. Ownership of extraterrestrial real estate is not recognised by any authority.[1] Nevertheless, some private individuals and organisations 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",[1] "Martian deeds" or similar. These "deeds" have no legal standing.[1]

Private purchase schemes

A number of individuals and organisations 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.

The short story The Man Who Sold the Moon by Robert A. Heinlein, which was written in 1949, offers a portrayal regarding such plans or schemes, and created the concept of a Lunar Republic. Heinlein'sStranger in a Strange Land also makes reference to a space law case called the Larkin Decision.

Notable claims

Martin Juergens from Germany claims that the Moon has belonged to his family since July 15, 1756, when the Prussian king Frederick the Great presented it to his ancestor Aul Juergens as a symbolic gesture of gratitude for services rendered, and decreed that it should pass to the youngest born son.[8]

A. Dean Lindsay made claims for all extraterrestrial objects on June 15, 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.[9]

James T. Mangan (1896–1970) was a famous eccentric, public relations man and best-selling author on self-help topics who publicly claimed ownership of outer space in 1948. Mangan founded what he called the Nation of Celestial Space and registered it with the Recorder of Deeds and Titles of Cook County, Illinois, on January 1, 1949.[10]

Robert R. Coles, former chairman of New York's Hayden Planetarium, started "the interplanetary Development Corporation"[11] and sold lots on the moon for one dollar per acre.[12]

Dennis Hope, an American entrepreneur, sells extraterrestrial real estate.[13] In 1980, he started his own business, the Lunar Embassy Commission.[14] As of 2009 Hope claimed to have sold 2.5M 1-acre plots on the Moon, for around US$20 per acre. He allocates land to be sold by closing his eyes and randomly pointing to a map of the Moon.[15]

Adam Ismail, Mustafa Khalil and Abdullah al-Umari, three men from Yemen, sued NASA for invading Mars. They claim that they "inherited the planet from our ancestors 3,000 years ago".[16] They based their argument on mythologies of the Himyaritic and Sabaean civilizations that existed several thousand years B.C.[17]

Gregory W. Nemitz claimed ownership of Asteroid 433 Eros, on which NEAR Shoemaker landed in 2001. His company Orbital Development[18] issued NASA a parking ticket for $20.[19]

After purchasing the Lunokhod 2 lunar lander, computer game designer and astronaut's son Richard Garriot jokingly claimed the rest of the Moon in the name of his gaming character, Lord British, under the premise that existing treaties prohibit governments from territorial claims to the Moon, but not individuals.[20]



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