Ah, colonization. What was it Captain James T. Kirk always said...”space, the final frontier?” If Competitive Enterprise Institute, a pro-colonization organization which seems to be “putting the cart before the horse” gets their way, you just might be able to buy yourself a piece of the moon!
Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Adjunct Scholar, Rand Simberg, has been working to make the recognition of lunar property rights a reality. Simberg believes that if the United States were to allow claims to land on the moon it would improve colonization efforts. He noted that the ability to own property [moon land titles] “...would have great potential to kick the development of extraterrestrial resources - and perhaps even the human settlement of space - into high gear.”
Any history buff will remember that the initial colonization of America was the result of corporations who funded the venture in hopes of profit. That same drive for profit is what Simberg and other experts believe will help jump-start lunar colonization. If a corporation can see a way to profit from the venture, they will be more likely to fund the effort.
Unless you’re a trivia nut you might not be aware of a 1979 treaty known as the Moon Treaty, which prohibits private property claims to the moon, however the US did not sign that treaty. We did however sign the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, which prevents the colonization of celestial bodies.
Alan Wasser, chairman of the Space Settlement Institute, puts forth the argument that the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 only prevents nations from such efforts, leaving space exploration and colonization open for private corporations.
Both Simberg and Wasser suggest that the U.S. government use 3 criteria to allow off-planet land claims:
1. The individual or corporation puts forth a plan for permanent human settlements on extraterrestrial bodies
2. The individual or corporation will provide commercial transport between Earth and the settlement
3. The individual or corporation will offer the land for sale.
In an effort to make progress on the home front, Simberg will go to Capitol Hill this week to present his study. It will be interesting to see if anybody but Newt Gingrich lends their support to this venture.
If Congress agrees to the colonization of the moon, that would certainly be no surprise. After all, they are putting forth “green power” at lightning speed...meanwhile the highly subsidized “green” companies are falling into bankruptcy, one by one. Until the infrastructure is set up for a profitable, clean and reliable “green” solution for our energy needs is established, it will be another example of wasteful spending.
The same rule applies to colonizing the moon. Until we have worked out all of the details and have all of the technology in place, living on the moon, much like driving an electric car, or other clean burning transport [from shore to shore], will remain a “pie in the sky” dream.
What say you?