Can you buy a piece of the moon? A quick Google search for “buy a piece of the moon” leads to several websites offering to sell land on the moon. Is it legit, or is it just a scam?
Lunar Land, Moon Estates, Lunar Registry, Lunar Land Owner and many more. It seems ridiculous, how can you possibly buy land on the moon?
Both treaties forbid any nation on Earth from claiming territory on the moon or any other celestial body. The intention of these treaties is to ensure that space is used for the benefit of all of humanity.
The Moon Treaty has not been ratified by the vast majority of nations on Earth, including all that currently possess the capacity to send people into space, but the Outer Space Treaty has, and so it is effectively international law.
However the treaties only state that a nation cannot claim territory on the moon for itself, it does not include a provision forbidding individuals or corporations from doing so. This is the loophole the above moon land-selling websites have been using.
So this means it is not technically illegal to claim and sell territory on the moon, as it is not explicitly stated so. This does go against the spirit of these treaties, however. I would not be surprised if, in the future, when individuals begin to have the capacity to actually visit the moon or another celestial body, instead of just buying a deed from some shady website, that a new treaty would be signed preventing individuals from claiming parts of the moon as land that they now own and can sell.
Buying land from one of the above websites earns you a deed and that’s pretty much it. It might be a nice novelty idea, maybe a nice gift for someone. But there is no way you are going to be able to enforce your supposed ownership.
If a nation decides to land on an area of the moon you supposedly own, extract some moon rocks for scientific research, maybe even construct a base, what are you going to be able to do about it?
It’s not as if you could go to the moon yourself and construct some sort of barrier to prevent others from visiting that place.
Is there any other way you could own a piece of the moon? How about a moon rock?
US law states that any moon rock collected during the Apollo moon-landing program is property of the United States government, or property of any of the nations to which the US presented the moon rocks to as a gift.
A woman trying to sell a moon rock for $1.7 million was thwarted by NASA when they buyer turned out to be an undercover agent.
There is, however, one entirely legal way to own a piece of the moon.
If you stumble upon a lunar meteorite, a meteorite that is found to have originated on the moon, you can legally own it. Meteorites such as this can arrive on Earth after being launched into space by the impact of something else onto the moon.
This is the only current way to legally own a physical piece of the moon. Forget about those lunar real estate websites, if you want a piece of the moon, try to buy a lunar meteorite.