Does the U.S. own the moon?

I keep asking this and nobody can answer. Usually because they’re laughing too hard. But we got there first and stuck our flag in it. In the old days, that meant the new “land” was owned by whoever sponsored the trip! So I want to know: Does the U.S. “own” the moon? Someday when it’s time to colonize up there, we get to charge rent, right? : ) Or landing fees, etc.

Thank you!

Everything in space is supposed to be owned by all people in common. There is a treaty to this effect, but I can’t remember what it’s called. We just own the flag that’s on the moon, and the bases of our lunar modules. And the golf ball.

Read this:

That should clear things up.

Interesting trivia: At the top of Boris’s link, it says that the treaty went into effect on 10 Oct 1967. But if you go to the very bottom, you’ll see that it was signed on 27 Jan 1967 – The same day as the Apollo 1 fire.

Of course the main reason Kennedy decided we had to get to the moon was so that the Soviet Union couldn’t plant a flag there first and claim the whole ball of rock.

WHile I can’t confirm the dates, doesn’t it seem possible that the treaty was signed on jan 27 but didn’t go into effect until oct 10?

The only thing a nonconformist hates more than a conformist is another nonconformist who does not conform to the prevailing standards of nonconformity.

I have to disagree about the golf ball. The Treaty may say it belongs to the United States, but there’s a higher power at work here.

Under Rule 27 of the Rules of Golf, a ball is lost if “It is not found or identified as his by the player within five minutes after the player’s side or his or their caddies have begun to search for it.”

The ball belongs whoever finds it. Maybe Andy Griffith.

Livin’ on Tums, Vitamin E and Rogaine

Exactly how many penaly strokes would that be?

What if I rocket over to Mars and set up a colony way before anybody else has a chance to do so. Don’t I get Squatter’s Rights?

You get squatters rights as long as you run your colony, “for the benefit of all peoples irrespective of the degree of their
economic or scientific development”. Otherwize, the U.N. exiles you to that one moon of Jupiter that looks like a pizza.

Also, it should be noted that Jones-Zolterflapft Rules of Extraplanetary Golf states: “All golf balls hit with clubs, pseudopods, or selectively-bred non-sentient slave creatures shall be the respective properties of the last being who struck them.” So the question is, what rules was Aldrin using?

What if I rocket over to Mars and set up a colony way before anybody else has a chance to do so. Don’t I get Squatter’s Rights?

Exactly. Treaty, shmeaty…if you occupy it and defend it, it’s yours. First time somebody figures out how to mine something profitably on an extraterrestrial body, the “Keep Out” signs will go up and trespassers will get shot.

The “all people in common” dreck is political hype. The day after somebody comes up with a cheap method of space travel it’s gonna be the Wild, Wild West all over again. It’s a BIG universe out there.

Lex Non Favet Delictorum Votis

I read a story from the 1950’s inwhich a corporation built a rocket and landed on the moon 1st so the corporation owned the moon. With all those asteroids between Mars and Juipter wouldn’t a McDonalds or a Holiday Inn set on one of the asteroids be no different than a McDonalds or Holiday Inn being built on an unclaimed island in the Pacific (they would not be subject to any govt.)?

Right, if I land on mars, set up a colony, laser sattelites and and missle bases, it’s mine. You all heard me, I’m calling dibbs.

If you make it to Mars and colonize there, I think it’s yours, as long as you hold it. You’ll have to abandon your earthly citizenship. Once you’ve done that, and established residency I think the people of Earth have no right to tell the people of Mars how to divvy up their planet.

Sorry Boris…

quote – “So the question is, what rules was Aldrin using?”

Buzz Aldrin was LM Pilot for Apollo 11. Alan Shepard, CMD of Apollo 14 mulliganed on the moon.

And just to complicate this side-discussion, Shepard left two golf balls on the moon. He didn’t get a solid hit on the first stroke (“Got more dirt than ball”) but he connected with the second ball (“Miles and miles and miles”). Actually, more of a chip shot than a drive, but there they are.

So the US should claims the Moon 'cause we’ve polluted it the most? Where’s the crying Indian when you need him?

Actually, there’s an extraterrestrial Yosemite Sam up there who owns it. And he’s pissed! “You got footie-prints all over my dust!” to paraphrase him from Sahara Hare

I know we’ve gone past this, but:
Planting a flag on the moon is the same as planting a flag on the top of Mt Everest - a symbol of conquering, not a symbol of ownership.

“Waheeey! ‘Duck!’ Get it?”
“Errr… No…”
“Duck! Sounds almost exactly like fu-”

That’s a glycerol dripping Italian we need, thanks to Uncle Cecil. < sigh >

Damn. Beat me to it. Also, he was from Louisiana, IIRC.

“I had a feeling that in Hell there would be mushrooms.” -The Secret of Monkey Island

IIRC, this business about space being in the domain of all people, blah blah blah, has come under some serious scrutiny lately, what with all the communications satellites up there, to say nothing of inter-continental ballistic missiles, space shuttles, and leftover space junk hovering around up there.

I seem to remember an article somewhere (maybe Cecil touched on this) about some third-world nation (I think it was Peru) getting a little snippy about the fact that all manner of space stuff was floating about in space, directly above Peru. They broadly hinted that unless a rent check was cut, a Peruvian surface-to-space missile might find its way up there. Hasty negotiations were begun, and AFAIK the matter was settled, apparently with the hint that space-to-surface ballistic missiles might find their way to Peru if they wanted to push the issue. Treatie-schmeatie. In today’s political climate, it’s might makes right.

My $.02.