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Who Owns Outer Space?

by Kenny Hoeschen

Scientific American editor Clara Moskowitz takes a look at ownership rights in space, with companies making plans to mine asteroids and Dennis Hope, who claims to own the Moon and Mars (for starters) and sells parcels of land to those who wish to own a piece of those rocks themselves. The closest thing we have to a law governing space is the 1967 United Nations Outer Space Treaty, which simply governs what ratifying governments can own but has no effect on individuals’ rights. Then there are the issues related to space debris and who has the right to remove other country’s dead satellites.

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