|from||Sasha Kaun |
|date||Fri, Mar 13, 2009 at 5:07 PM|
|subject||Commercializing the Moon|
I wish for this email to be forwarded on the Dr. David Wright. I am very concerned at the current situation regarding the moon. Please let me know if I have anything to worry about. What are the chances that the moon becomes commercialized? I am talking McDonalds, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Chili's, PetSmart, Hooters, Linens 'n Things, and Benihana. I have seen too many small towns lose their small town nostalgia due to commercialization. My grandfather ran a Cracker Barrel which was forced out of business due to many big city corporations that invaded his town. I do NOT want this to happen to the moon.
Who owns the moon? I would assume the United States own the moon since we are the first and only country to have humans land on the moon. Should I contact President Obama to tell him that I do not want the moon filled with restaurants and retail stores? Perhaps we could sell the moon to another country to help our ailing economy. I believe that if America could get the Louisiana Purchase for $15 million, we could get at least $75 million for the moon. I think this would be a great deal for the US! What do you think?
I look forward to hearing from you. I am confident you will be able to answer my questions and ease my concerns.
|from||Aaron Huertas |
|date||Sun, Mar 15, 2009 at 12:16 PM|
|subject||Re: Commercializing the Moon|
That's a very interesting question and I wish I had a clear answer for you, but the international law on this topic remains murky. Technically, nobody owns the Moon (or space for that matter). International treaties govern the use of space, but not every country has signed off on them. As for right now, it doesn't make commercial sense for anyone to open a business on the Moon because of the prohibitive cost of traveling there. Mining operations on the Moon, for instance, would cost far more than mining operations on Earth. Countries are unlikely to grapple with the issue until there's such a possibility. Currently, no country is taking concrete steps to set up a permanent or semi-permanent presence on the Moon.
In any case, people who have "sold" property on the Moon have no legal backing for their businesses.
UCS's space work focuses on two somewhat related areas: keeping weapons out of space and ensuring that space debris don't pile up in orbits around the Earth. International law in that case is a bit clearer. Satellites are the primary way we use space as a resource and that is where countries are finding their goals in conflict with one another.
If you'd like to stay abreast of these issues, I would recommend signing up for our activist e-mail alerts for global security. We periodically ask our members to e-mail members of Congress, the White House or other targets regarding these and related issues. (The program also works on nuclear weapons, missile defense and a few other topics.)