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#26 2012-05-16 10:04:12

RickLewis
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From: London
Registered: 2012-05-12
Posts: 8
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Re: The Outer Space Treaty

Mark Friedenbach wrote:

An asteroid is a celestial object.

Sorry to have been unclear. I wasn't doubting that an asteroid is a celestial body. I was doubting that mining is the same as construction.

Construction on a celestial body is explicitly permitted under the treaty. But mining isn't making stuff on a celestial body - it is taking away bits of the celestial body.

However, maybe louis is right - things which aren't specifically forbidden are therefore allowed, and as he says, there is nothing in the treaty outlawing asteroid mining... so therefore it is permitted?

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#27 2012-05-16 11:57:16

Mark Friedenbach
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From: Mountain View, CA
Registered: 2003-01-31
Posts: 325

Re: The Outer Space Treaty

RickLewis wrote:

However, maybe louis is right - things which aren't specifically forbidden are therefore allowed, and as he says, there is nothing in the treaty outlawing asteroid mining... so therefore it is permitted?

Precisely. The OST in this regard is a proscriptive document--it only makes firm claims about what can't be done in space (militarization, nuclear weapons, national claims of sovereignty, etc.). It makes limited prescriptive claims about what must be done in the case of emergency landings on foreign territory, rendering emergency assistance in space, discovery of mutual threats, and other similar concerns.

Claims that the OST disallows whole categories of economic activity are based on Article I, which has the “for the benefit and in the interests of all countries” language and, I think, conflation with the language and purpose of the Moon Treaty which was not ratified by any major space player. The text of the OST makes clear that the “for the benefit...” language is meant to be proscriptive of large countries bullying smaller countries in space, to mandate tolerance of space programs in developing countries, and to offer a vague mandate for collaboration on scientific endeavors. That's it. Heck, it's not very long, so I'll just quote it in its entirety:

Outer Space Treaty wrote:

Article I

The exploration and use of outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of all countries, irrespective of their degree of economic or scientific development, and shall be the province of all mankind.

Outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, shall be free for exploration and use by all States without discrimination of any kind, on a basis of equality and in accordance with international law, and there shall be free access to all areas of celestial bodies.

There shall be freedom of scientific investigation in outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, and States shall facilitate and encourage international co-operation in such investigation.

The very existence of the Moon Treaty and its lack of ratification by major players shows intent that this limited (and currently, official) interpretation of the OST is what the signatory governments had in mind at the time of its ratification. And that's ignoring the copious information available about the negotiations accompanying the drafting of the OST which make clear that its purpose was demilitarizing space and ensuring the safety of astro/cosmonauts--not to place restrictions on private enterprise, use, or claims of property, which is why the Moon Treaty was later drafted (and failed).

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#28 2012-05-16 19:39:28

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
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Re: The Outer Space Treaty

An issues arising from another nation that does make it to space to mine will need to be made to the governing body (UN) and into the international court system....

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#29 2012-05-17 04:51:21

Terraformer
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From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,304
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Re: The Outer Space Treaty

Mining isn't just returning bits of a celestial body to Terra - it's also refining and hence 'constructing' bullion. Hard to argue that a rod of Platinum wasn't constructed.

Right, so the OST doesn't prohibit space colonies, it only prohibits calling them that... tongue


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#30 2012-05-17 10:26:40

Mark Friedenbach
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From: Mountain View, CA
Registered: 2003-01-31
Posts: 325

Re: The Outer Space Treaty

Terraformer wrote:

Right, so the OST doesn't prohibit space colonies, it only prohibits calling them that... tongue

Pretty much smile And when the former colonies on Earth figured that out, they created the Moon Treaty to close those loopholes.. and no one of consequence ratified it.

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#31 2012-05-18 10:40:10

Joe Hardy
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From: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Registered: 2012-05-18
Posts: 2
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Re: The Outer Space Treaty

I feel like I'm missing something in this idea of mining not being prohibited by The Outer Space Treaty. The excerpts below seem to me to pretty strongly and simply say that nobody- government or private- can take bits of space/celestial bodies and sell them as their own. Appropriation "by means of use or occupation, or by any other means" sounds pretty broad.

"Outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means." 1967 Outer Space Treaty Article II.

And for those who say that this applies only to governments, not to non-governmental entities (which to me would make the whole treaty kind of pointless), "States Parties to the Treaty shall bear international responsibility for national activities in outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, whether such activities are carried on by governmental agencies or by non-governmental entities, and for assuring that national activities are carried out in conformity with the provisions set forth in the present Treaty." 1967 Outer Space Treaty Article VI.

How does mining escape that prohibition?

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#32 2012-05-18 13:55:17

Mark Friedenbach
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From: Mountain View, CA
Registered: 2003-01-31
Posts: 325

Re: The Outer Space Treaty

The key point is that claims of sovereignty is different from claims of property/exclusive use rights. The article by Jeff Faust goes over this issue pretty well.

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#33 2012-05-18 14:19:37

louis
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From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,871

Re: The Outer Space Treaty

Joe Hardy wrote:

I feel like I'm missing something in this idea of mining not being prohibited by The Outer Space Treaty. The excerpts below seem to me to pretty strongly and simply say that nobody- government or private- can take bits of space/celestial bodies and sell them as their own. Appropriation "by means of use or occupation, or by any other means" sounds pretty broad.

"Outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means." 1967 Outer Space Treaty Article II.

And for those who say that this applies only to governments, not to non-governmental entities (which to me would make the whole treaty kind of pointless), "States Parties to the Treaty shall bear international responsibility for national activities in outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, whether such activities are carried on by governmental agencies or by non-governmental entities, and for assuring that national activities are carried out in conformity with the provisions set forth in the present Treaty." 1967 Outer Space Treaty Article VI.

How does mining escape that prohibition?

The key phrase here is national appropriation...all claims to such appropropriation are disallowed. That would include a claim based on mining. For instance - if you were to say "no one from China can mine minerals from this asteroid because the USA is mining this asteroid" you would be contravening the treaty.  But to mine is not to make such a claim. To mine is simply to say "we wish to pursue this peaceful purpose of mining the asteroid, no more and no less". 

As a matter of logic and common sense, occasions will arise where some licensing of land is necessary. But it will never be acceptable if its purpose is to forward a claim of "national appropriation". So, I think it could only valid on the basis of necessity where otherwise there was a real risk of conflicting objectives, and negative effects on health and safety for instance. Clearly if a treaty signatory could get the backing of the UN in issuing such licences, their position in law would be all the stronger.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#34 2012-05-18 17:14:27

Terraformer
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From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,304
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Re: The Outer Space Treaty

We already have precedent - the samples that are returned by probes belong to the organisations that sent the probes. In international law, it's pretty much established that you can own the parts you chip off the asteroid, though not the asteroid itself, so break a small 10 tonne asteroid in half and you can claim the lot. tongue

Besides, anything constructed on a celestial body belongs to whoever constructed it. I presume that also means forging rods out of Platinum counts, even though you're planning on melting them back down on Terra.

There's enough ambiguity in there to make investors nervous and lawyers smile. If they're the current crop of space investors, they don't seem to actually be motivated by money primarily, though...


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#35 2012-05-18 20:31:13

Joe Hardy
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From: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Registered: 2012-05-18
Posts: 2
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Re: The Outer Space Treaty

louis, I think I understand you're saying that mining generally isn't appropriation as long as the miner isn't telling someone else that they can't mine there also. If I've got that right, is there a limit? For example, could either a government or a private company tap out the entire planet Mars until nothing remains, take in $20 trillion from selling the mined materials, and not be said to have appropriated Mars or its resources as long as they didn't stop anyone else from trying the same?

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#36 2012-05-19 00:28:49

Mark Friedenbach
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From: Mountain View, CA
Registered: 2003-01-31
Posts: 325

Re: The Outer Space Treaty

Yes.

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#37 2012-05-19 02:47:16

louis
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From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,871

Re: The Outer Space Treaty

Joe Hardy wrote:

louis, I think I understand you're saying that mining generally isn't appropriation as long as the miner isn't telling someone else that they can't mine there also. If I've got that right, is there a limit? For example, could either a government or a private company tap out the entire planet Mars until nothing remains, take in $20 trillion from selling the mined materials, and not be said to have appropriated Mars or its resources as long as they didn't stop anyone else from trying the same?

Well I think you are then into public opinion and  international relations.  I think ,were it technically possible, there would be an outcry if the whole of planet Mars were turned into one big mine. For us, Mars already has an identity and I think people would see such action as destroying its identity. However,  I think mining on Mars for export to Earth is unlikely to be a big priority for many decades. But, importantly, I think most people will accept there is nothing wrong in ISRU mining to support the human community there.  Asteroid mining I think is another matter. People really don't see the asteroids as having an identity - I think most people would be fine with using them as a resource, although in the case of Ceres, people might come to view that as more planet-like.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#38 2012-05-20 18:51:52

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,726

Re: The Outer Space Treaty

Quoting article:....
Loony or not, moon rock sale didn't fly

The four pebbles are smaller than peppercorns, but make no mistake: They are troublesome stones.

The quartet of specks the size of mouse droppings were once part of a 47½-pound harvest of moon rocks gathered in July 1969 by Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin Jr. following the first lunar landing.

The rocks traveled 238,857 miles from the surface of the moon to Earth, but who knew the most intriguing leg of their journey had only begun, and would eventually lead to Las Vegas?

On Friday morning, attorney Richard Wright seemed relieved to be sending the rocks back to their rightful owners, albeit by a circuitous route. Wright represents the estate of the late casino man Bob Stupak, who bought the moon rocks from Harry Coates in November 1987 for $10,000 and 200,000 shares of gravity-defying stock.

Then owner of the space-themed Vegas World casino, Stupak would go on to create the Stratosphere Tower during a tumultuous career in which he established himself as the consummate Las Vegas huckster. He departed this world on Sept. 25, 2009, at age 67 from complications of leukemia and very hard living.

You've heard of the Man in the Moon. Bob Stupak was the man who would sell you the moon, or at least stock in it. But in a never-ending effort to promote himself and his casino, he bought a tiny piece of the lunar surface, perhaps without fully comprehending the consequences of such a purchase.

Once those moon rocks broke through the Earth's upper atmosphere back on July 24, 1969, they became the most precious stones on the planet. It was illegal to possess them, much less acquire them from Coates' Midway Development Inc. for $10,000 and a briefcase full of shares in a nonfunctioning company called "Las Vegan's Vegas World Corporation."

Back during what the Fifth Dimension called the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, the rocks were stars in their own right. Although they were considered priceless, over the years collectors have offered millions for moon grit that could get lost in a thimble.

In the case of Stupak's stones, they were part of presentations encased in acrylic, mounted on small wooden displays, and given as good will gestures by President Richard Nixon to the heads of nations around the world in celebration of mankind's greatest achievement. The pebbles Stupak possessed were part of the display presented to the country of Nicaragua.

As Stupak hailed from Pittsburgh, Pa., and not Managua, there came a time in 2000 when it occurred to him that owning them might be more trouble than their considerable worth. It might have been a call from the local office of the FBI that motivated him.

Authorities were starting to ask questions. Stupak was skilled at cards and dice, but he was all thumbs when it came to following the letter of the law. So he wisely enlisted the respected Wright to ensure he didn't end up baying at the moon through iron bars. In keeping with his character, Stupak offered to cut in Wright for 10 percent of the stones' eventual sale.

By 2004, Stupak increased Wright's stake to 25 percent. The lawyer just shakes his head at the precarious prospect of ever attempting to collect on such a thing.

Wright recalls, "Bob came in about 12 years ago and said, 'I've got a moon rock. I want to sell it.' "

Stupak was thinking Sotheby's.

Wright was smelling trouble.

If the display was fake, it was worthless. If it was genuine, it belonged to the people of Nicaragua. There wasn't any wiggle room - not even for an angle-shooter of Stupak's caliber.

"Generally speaking, if you're selling it you're either committing a fraud," Wright says, "... or you have a problem because it's contraband that's illegal to possess."

Stupak assured all skeptics he purchased the moon rocks legally and had a detailed and notarized bill of sale to prove it. (Indeed, he did.) Wright reminded him that such a fact didn't mean he was allowed to keep contraband.

The irrepressible casino character, nicknamed "The Polish Maverick," tossed out a compromise.

"You mean I can't sell it publicly," he told Wright.

"You can't sell it at all, Bob," the lawyer replied.

And so he didn't. But just when it appeared the federal authorities might at last come looking for the traveling Nicaraguan moon rocks, only silence was heard. The FBI, it seemed, had moved onto other cases.

Wright sent a letter to the Nicaraguan embassy informing officials that his client possessed the moon rock gift. The letter was ignored.

Then Wright contacted NASA officials to tell them that the pebbles had alighted in Las Vegas. He received a curious response. It turns out the Nicaraguan display wasn't the only instance of moon rocks floating away from their rightful owners. Of the 270 moon rocks gifted to other countries, 160 are unaccounted for, stolen or lost, former NASA investigator Joe Gutheinz recently told The Associated Press. In one case, an undercover sting operation recovered the display Nixon presented to the government of Honduras.

By the time Wright contacted the appropriate Office of the Inspector General, NASA officials had heard their share of stolen moon rock stories. In July 2011, government attorney Cedric Campbell wrote Wright, "We have encountered cases like this one in previous years, and we tend to handle them according to procedure. In this case, we would eventually return the moon rock to the Nicaraguan government."

But how best to give back the moon rocks to their rightful owner?

The first stop on their return flight home, Wright says, will be NASA headquarters. Although the attorney appears to hold little doubt about the display's authenticity, government officials will first check that off their list. Then they will send the package to Nicaragua, where in theory officials there will keep a closer eye on it.

"I would like to express our sincere gratitude for the efforts of the Office of Inspector General of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in working to recover the Nicaraguan Goodwill Moon Rock which was presented as a gift in 1973, subject to prior determination of authenticity for possible return to Nicaragua," the nation's Ambassador to the United States Francisco Campbell wrote in February.

For his part, Wright is satisfied to protect the family estate for the late casino man's three grown children. But he can't help smiling at the legal lunacy that orbits his late client's playful caper.

"It's vintage Stupak," the attorney says.

Somewhere beyond the bath of all the Western stars where gamblers have a free roll and the Man in the Moon lights the way, Bob Stupak is laughing himself silly.

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#39 2014-05-16 17:49:00

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,726

Re: The Outer Space Treaty

The First Space Colonies Might Be Illegal

The biggest challenge to getting functioning space hotels and moon colonies might not even be, you know, building them and subsisting in space. Instead, it might be navigating the tricky international legal framework governing off-world ownership.

That treaty notoriously does not specifically mention private citizens, which has led to people like Dennis Hope, a Nevada-based “real estate agent” selling tracts of land on the moon and claiming the treaty doesn’t apply to him as a private citizen. So far, Hope hasn’t run into much legal trouble, but that’s because he’s basically selling novelty certificates to suckers (no offense).

While the United States has long been a capitalist society, other countries look at space more as a shared resource—under current international law, any sort of asteroid or resource mining would potentially have to be shared amongst the world.

“Many countries are much more interested in the equitable sharing of resources and land,” Sattler said. “These asteroid mining companies are not going to spend all that money and go to hostile environments to find out that they have to equitably share what they extract.”

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#40 2014-05-17 08:21:56

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 4,078
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Re: The Outer Space Treaty

Looks to me like we humans need a new treaty to cover what we are apparently about to do "out there". 

Hard to do when we can't even agree on how not to kill each other down here.

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#41 2014-05-17 08:46:03

clark
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Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,269

Re: The Outer Space Treaty

In some places, we can't even agree on what *is* the appropriate way to kill each other.

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#42 2014-05-17 20:09:44

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,726

Re: The Outer Space Treaty

As well we are unable to even agree on what a signed treaty says....let alone abide by it....

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#43 2014-12-30 23:04:22

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,726

Re: The Outer Space Treaty

I am posting a question raised in another topic in order to redirect that discusion..

Tom Kalbfus wrote:
SpaceNut wrote:

The out dated Outer Space Treaty pretty much sums up the ownership possibility and the reasons why nations and even individuals can not afford to even think of creating a colony let alone a one way mission even if funds could be found for one.

Other items to take into account for the cooled atmosphere is to send it to mars or even the moon as bagged ice balls to give needed materials to either place.

As for making ozone use an ionic breeze as when it cleans the air on a home it create some alone the way...

Don't people get squatters rights if they live there and get to call themselves "Venusians"? Also isn't it a violation of one's civil right is a UN treaty says they cannot own property just because they happen to live on a planet other than Earth?


http://www.oosa.unvienna.org/oosa/Space … erspt.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outer_Space_Treaty
http://www.unoosa.org/oosa/SpaceLaw/index.html
http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Moon_Treaty

So what are Squatters Rights as it relates to outer space and of the Treaty?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squatting

Squatting consists of occupying an abandoned or unoccupied area of land and/or a building – usually residential that the squatter does not own, rent or otherwise have lawful permission to use.

But with the moon there  was never any residency such that it could be claimed as abandoned and since there are no dwelling there is no chance for it to be claimed unoccupied.

Are private property rights allowed under the Outer Space Treaty


Are private property rights allowed under the Outer Space Treaty?

A proposed draft version of space land claim recognition legislation is available for review at www.spacesettlement.org/law

The UN treaties are modeled along the lines of the UN treaties for Antarctica.

Both the Moon and celestial Treaties are on Principles a Governing of the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies

A PROPOSED INTERNATIONAL LEGAL REGIME FOR THE ERA OF PRIVATE COMMERCIAL UTILIZATION OF SPACE

All of which we did raise the question The Outer Space Treaty - Does the OST need revision

Last edited by SpaceNut (2014-12-30 23:07:45)

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#44 2014-12-31 05:07:35

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,871

Re: The Outer Space Treaty

I have seen nothing that dissuades me from my view: that property rights cannot be established on celestial bodies under the OST but there would be nothing to prevent a national government instituting a system of licensing of land in a particular area on the Moon or on Mars. Effectively, the licensing system would become a de facto form of leaseholding.

The Moon Treaty seems so poorly ratified as to be irrelevant to the discussion.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#45 2014-12-31 06:54:17

Terraformer
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From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,304
Website

Re: The Outer Space Treaty

No, *sovereignty* cannot be claimed. However, the ownership of habitats can be - much the case in Antarctica and on the sea. So if you want to own a patch of land on Luna or Mars, you have to actually build something over it. In other words, the standard for property ownership is the one that most libertarians and anarchists agree on - perhaps the only time states have ever done such a thing.

If a government were to "license" land, it would be claiming sovereignty, just as it would be if it "licensed" international waters.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#46 2014-12-31 08:03:38

Mark Friedenbach
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From: Mountain View, CA
Registered: 2003-01-31
Posts: 325

Re: The Outer Space Treaty

You don't need a state to establish de facto land ownership via licensing via contractual agreements, however.

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#47 2014-12-31 11:42:42

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,534

Re: The Outer Space Treaty

I have not yet studied The Outer Space Treaty, but  I guess when I have more time maybe I will.

The typical process of ownership is for those in power to figure out what the population wants, and then to take it away from them, and then to sell it back to them eventually.

I am wondering if there will be a way of using The Outer Space Treaty as a starter, since they have by it taken space away from us.  Perhaps it can be amended, or discarded.  I don't know yet since I have not studied it.

Technique is the main principal.  One side of the human mind manipulates objects, the other side manipulates people.

The people manipulators have with this treaty, taken captive the object manipulators.  I really am not sure that the original intent was to charge rents, but the eventual consequence drifts towards a situation where people who offer no value added services to the human race (Rent takers), might impede human progress.

I think the treaty might be amended to parcel out what is out there, and offer different legal structures where that is appropriate to human progress.

After all they have assigned themselves as trustees.  We are also the owners of the trust.  How about that.  In a trust situation, the trustee has a responsibility to administer the trust for the sole benefit of the beneficiary.

Technically, under representative governance, we are all both trustees and beneficiary.  However I fear that our evil uncles will hope to seek an unfair benefit for themselves while offering no value added service.

So merit has to be added to the calculation.  As I see it not significantly damaging a place is good.  Making it useful to humans is good.  The trustees then have an obligation to honor and reward good behavior.

Someone has to be put in charge of administering parcels, but not lazy rent chargers who are not capable of manipulating objects.

So, social pressure then.


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

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#48 2014-12-31 11:53:13

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,726

Re: The Outer Space Treaty

How did the Gold mining operations stake claims in the US in the 1800's? Use that same process. Which registered the parcel borders mineral rights or was it just land to deed out for private dwelling to be built on.

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#49 2014-12-31 12:42:55

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,871

Re: The Outer Space Treaty

Terraformer wrote:

No, *sovereignty* cannot be claimed. However, the ownership of habitats can be - much the case in Antarctica and on the sea. So if you want to own a patch of land on Luna or Mars, you have to actually build something over it. In other words, the standard for property ownership is the one that most libertarians and anarchists agree on - perhaps the only time states have ever done such a thing.

If a government were to "license" land, it would be claiming sovereignty, just as it would be if it "licensed" international waters.

The signatories of the treaty undertake to supervise private sector activity.  I think that gives justification for a licensing system.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#50 2014-12-31 12:51:04

Terraformer
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From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,304
Website

Re: The Outer Space Treaty

No, it really doesn't. "Supervise" means making sure rockets don't fall on peoples heads.

Again, a state can't license tracts of land *unless it possesses sovereignty*. If America were to license out parcels of Antarctica, they wouldn't be able to say, "oh, but we're not really claiming sovereignty, only exercising it".


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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