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    Imagine that you are pioneering a new frontier. You are one of the first inhabitants in a foreign area, braving unknown conditions and making incredible discoveries about a land few others have seen. Now imagine the place you are pioneering is in space.

    The colonization of the Moon and Mars has long been a topic of international discussion. Bringing humans to these outlying territories would create opportunities for the human race to diversify and expand. The question that remains, however, is who should control the rights to these lands in space?

    In 1967, several nations met to discuss the “Treaty On Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, Including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies,” more commonly known as the “Outer Space Treaty.” According to this treaty, no one nation can claim sovereignty on space territories, meaning no nation can claim or grant land in outer space. The former Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR) sought to ban private activity in space as well, but this idea was not present in the finalized treaty due to strong objections from the United States.

    This omission means that private companies can claim ownership of land on the Moon or Mars. Companies can purchase the land, then sell it to settlers. Individual nations would then have to decide whether or not to accept the community’s property deeds in their courts of law. The U.S. has been pushing a proposal that encourages government bodies to recognize private companies’ land claims in the hopes that other countries will follow our lead, resulting in a new and improved space land use treaty.

    One man in 1980 actually said he claimed the moon and has been selling certificates representing one-acre pieces of land to more than a million people. Through these sales, he has generated more than $16 million. The only problem is that no government currently recognizes the property rights since he has never landed on the surface of the Moon.

    To encourage private companies to spend the money to get to the Moon and Mars, it is proposed that the first group to settle and use land on these bodies get the largest piece of land. The first group on the Moon is projected to receive a piece of land the size of Alaska, while the first group on Mars will get a piece of land that would fit six states the size of Alaska. This would allow the company to sell the land they don’t need or want to cover the cost of reaching the Moon or Mars. Every group after the original settlers would get smaller pieces of land under this proposal.

    Who should control the land on the Moon and Mars? How much land should they be able to claim? How much power should the government have in this process? Share your opinions on the Message Board.

     
    Surface of Mars. Image courtesy NASA/JPL.
     
    The Moon. Image courtesy NASA.

    AuthorComment
    Dena Dinos
    Teacher

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/7/2006 2:02:21 PM
    Re: Who Should Control The Land On Mars And The Moon?
    Who I think that should get the moon or mars is the people that first was on the moon or mars, and then I think that the people who ever gives up the most money.
    Samantha
    Student

    Coon Rapids-bayard
    Coon Rapids, Iowa
    4/12/2006 3:21:31 PM
    Re: Who Should Control The Land On Mars And The Moon?
    I beleive nobody should. Not even the president. It can be freeee.
    Jamila
    Guest Student

    Idea
    Tok, Alaska
    4/17/2006 8:42:39 AM
    Re: Who Should Control The Land On Mars And The Moon?
    Many say the one who claims it first. Technology now has been created that you could use the natural resources from the planet to create formulas and medicines maybe. Would it be right for ANY person to have a right to the moon? If anything I believe it should be equally divided and power and land. What would you do on moon anyway? Live there? I would love that but the scientific experiments would be limited if they are on different parts right? So wouldn't they need each others ideas to create a even better one. Unity is an important factor. Everyone can't be on discord.So after thinking about all of this I believe the government who I hope will be just and fair concerning all matters.
    student
    Student

    Mhlt
    Minocqua, Wisconsin
    5/9/2006 9:24:44 AM
    Re: Who Should Control The Land On Mars And The Moon?
    I think that the UN (United Nations) as a whole should control the land. That way, no one country has ruling power, and we (hopefully) won't foolishly squander whatever resources we may dig up. But if I had to pick a company...Microsoft.
    student
    Student

    Mhlt
    Minocqua, Wisconsin
    5/9/2006 9:24:52 AM
    Re: Who Should Control The Land On Mars And The Moon?
    i should land it and take it all
    Paul
    Student

    Delta Cyber School
    Delta Junction, Alaska
    5/16/2006 9:51:29 AM
    Re: Who Should Control The Land On Mars And The Moon?
    I think that nobody had or owned land on space.








































    Abbie
    Student

    Maple School District
    Poplar, Wisconsin
    10/5/2006 11:21:06 AM
    Re: Who Should Control The Land On Mars And The Moon?
    I think that whoever first came up with the idea to land there and succeeded should and would be the controller of the area explord and documented. This would mean whichever country first landed there and had the idea to land there without the help of another country. In my opinion the U.S. should be the owner of mars and Germany should be the owner of the moon. If Germany landed on the moon first that is if not then the U.S. can have that too.
    Mike
    Student

    Maple School District
    Poplar, Wisconsin
    10/12/2006 11:13:10 AM
    Re: Who Should Control The Land On Mars And The Moon?
    I think someone who is very very smart...GOOD.
    Taylor
    Student

    Estherville Lincoln Central
    Estherville, Iowa
    12/18/2006 4:57:29 PM
    Re: Who Should Control The Land On Mars And The Moon?
    i think NASA should control mars' land. That would be better than a power-crazy politician.
    Jacob
    Student

    Maple School District
    Poplar, Wisconsin
    1/30/2007 11:57:39 AM
    Re: Who Should Control The Land On Mars And The Moon?
    My opinion is that nobody should control the land on Mars and the Moon, until we have the technology, resources, and initiative to set up permanent bases there. Once we do, I think that it should be individual people's decisions to go there. For a fee, you could set up a home on Mars, with help through your country. Then, your land would be yours, and you would control it. Say what you want, but that's my opinion
    Kylah
    Student

    Henry R. Clissold
    Chicago, Illinois
    5/1/2007 1:01:21 PM
    Re: Who Should Control The Land On Mars And The Moon?
    I THINK THAT THAT TERITORY BELONGS TO WHOEVER LANDS THERE FIRST AND WHO PUTS THEIR FLAG ON THAT TERITORY.BUT WHY SHOULD WE REALLY WORRY ABOUT IT BECAUSE WE CAN'T STAY THERE FOR LONG BECAUSE THE ONLY PLANET WE CAN LIVE ON IS EARTH.BUT NONE SHOULD CONTROL THEM BECAUSE NO ONE LIVES THERE,THERE ARE NO PEOPLE, NO PRESIDENT SO THERE IS NOTHING TO CONTROL SO WHO CAN CLAIM IT.

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