How does land ownership work on the Moon?

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How does land ownership work on the Moon?

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There isn’t a concept of land ownership on the moon. Whoever builds something there first will control it. But that would spark a nasty space race, its not a priority for anyone to make a national moonbase

Realistically, whoever is willing to defend a claim with force is the one that owns it. Right now the law says nobody owns the moon, a lot like nobody owns Antarctica, but in the future if people live on the moon and start mining or building on part of it that law is going to be challenged.

The United Nations Outer Space Treaty (1967) forbids nations from claiming territory on the Moon or any other celestial body describing the Moon as a ‘province of all mankind’.

So the US for example by treaty agrees that it can’t claim the Moon or part of it as sovereign US territory despite having planted a flag on it. This will change eventually when lunar travel is frequent and easier and things like permanent bases and mining settlements become possible. By this point new laws and international agreements will have to be written.

The treaty places no such limitations on private ownership, but schemes to sell Lunar land claims are dubious at best.

Having a piece of paper that claims you own a 100 acres of the Lunar surface is highly unlikely to hold up in any international court. You essentially have to physically go to the Moon to stake a proper claim.

According to the Outer Space Treaty, mankind as a whole owns the moon. Also, anything that is launched into space has to have approval from a national government. The approving national government retains responsibility and ownership over anything that they launch, but they are not allowed to claim ownership of wherever their stuff ends up.

I had to look this up but I found an answer in Wikipedia’s depths:

>Although Luna landers scattered pennants of the Soviet Union on the Moon, and U.S. flags were symbolically planted at their landing sites by the Apollo astronauts, **no nation claims ownership of any part of the Moon’s surface.**[259] Russia, China, India, and the U.S. are party to the 1967 Outer Space Treaty,[260] which defines the Moon and all outer space as the “province of all mankind”.[259] This treaty also restricts the use of the Moon to peaceful purposes, explicitly banning military installations and weapons of mass destruction.[261]

The same way all land ownership works: Someone claims some land (like a person, tribe, or government) and, if they have the strength, they get to keep it, or trade it, or sell it.
That happens until a stronger person, group, or government comes and takes it from you.
Repeat ad nauseum.