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Who Owns Outer Space? [Video]

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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With the exception of international waters, unclaimed portions of Antarctica and a Hong Kong-sized parcel of land wedged between Egypt and Sudan, nearly every square inch of planet Earth has been claimed by a governing body. That leaves would-be colonists and conquerors with only one place to look: skyward.

Although a 1967 United Nations treaty states that “outer space is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means” this hasn’t stopped at least one bold entrepreneur from selling plots of land on our closest celestial neighbors. Scientific American editor Clara Moskowitz has the story in our latest Instant Egghead video.

More to Explore:

Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States
in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including
the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies
(United Nations)

Dennis M. Hope Has Owned the Moon Since 1980 Because He Says So (VICE)

Written & presented by Clara Moskowitz
Edited by Joss Fong
Produced by Eric R. Olson


About the Author: Eric is multimedia journalist and producer who specializes in science and natural history. His work has appeared on the websites of Scientific American, Nature, Nature Medicine, Popular Science, Slate and The New York Times among many others. He is a former video producer & editor for Scientific American. Follow on Twitter @EricROlson.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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  1. 1. Arbeiter 5:40 pm 11/25/2013

    We eagerly await the Environmental Impact Report prior to development – plus Customs and Immigration procedures for re-entering a terrestrial country. “Are you carrying any unknown hazards?”

    UN management is a criminal clown car of incompetence, re 684,085 cases of Blue Helmet Nepalese cholera reported in Haiti, October 2010 through 17 October 2013.

    Link to this
  2. 2. ShirleyJuan803 9:55 pm 11/25/2013

    My Uncle Hudson recently got a stunning metallic Mercedes-Benz GL-Class SUV by working part time online… pop over here,…>>>>>

    Link to this
  3. 3. Apolloxxxxx 8:47 pm 02/25/2014

    L Ron Hubbard and Myself Currently Own the Moon and all the space within 500 miles of it at any given time.
    It is Hence forth to Be referred to Not as “The Moon”
    but As The Lunar vessel Apollo XXXXX . However suppressive Persons in Earths authoritarian organization Governments want to deny our Rights to the 55 Axioms and Dominance of the Lunar vessal Apollo XXXXX .

    Link to this

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