There is a huge debate over who owns the moon, and a lot of misconceptions about whom the rightful owner is. But in reality, nobody owns the moon.
A lot of people believe that the moon belongs to a specific country on the Earth, but it is actually nobody’s property, and there are precautions in place to ensure that it stays this way.
There have been a number of different flags placed on the moon, added by different countries who have sent people up to space on various different expeditions.
But these flags are actually meaningless in terms of ownership, they are just a symbol that people from that country have been there. They are not a move to claim the moon as that country’s property.
To protect the ownership of the moon, something known as the Outer Space Treaty was set up. This treaty was set up in 1967, shortly before the first crewed moon landing was made by the USA in July 1969.
At first, there were very few countries that had signed the treaty, with the founding members being the United Kingdom, alongside two of the leading countries in Space investigation, the USA and the Russian Federation.
But now, more than 105 countries have signed the treaty with a number of other countries in the process.
This treaty was signed by these countries to confirm that the act of placing a flag on the moon does not show ownership of this astronomical body.
This treaty also dictates that no nation on Earth can take ownership of the moon, and that no attempt at ownership will be taken by any of the countries who have signed the treaty.
Due to how far away the moon is, and the difficulty of getting there, no individuals from any country will have to sign the treaty other than officials.
However, this treaty is generally accepted to cover all people within the countries that have signed, so in reality nobody can own the moon.
Does America own the moon?
As we have said, there are a lot of misconceptions surrounding the ownership of the moon. One of these is that America owns the moon, but this is not true.
As we have established, nobody owns the moon, and there are precautions in place to ensure that it stays this way. So why are people under the impression that the moon is owned by the USA?
The primary reason that people seem to think that America owns the moon is because of the moon landings. Even though lots of countries have sent expeditions to the moon, the USA made history by sending the first crewed expedition to the moon in July 1969.
This was a truly historic event, and nobody can forget Neil Armstrong’s famous quote, “that’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”. Even those who weren’t even alive at the time of the moon landings.
During the 1969 moon landing, the crew of the American Apollo 11 ship placed a USA flag on the moon. This was the first flag placed on the moon by the Apollo ships, and every successful trip there after also placed a US flag on the surface of the moon.
By all accounts, those flags are all still there today, which is why many people believe that America owns the moon. After all, historically placing a flag has been a symbol of ownership, but the Outer Space Treaty prevents this.
Prior to the Apollo 11 moon landing, the Outer Space Treaty was signed by the USA, the UK and the Russian Federation.
These countries already knew that the moon landings were going to occur in the oncoming years so putting this treaty in place prevented any of the countries planning moon landings from taking ownership.
So, despite common misconception, America does not own the moon. In fact, they were one of the countries that helped put in place the treaty that prevents any country from taking ownership of the moon.
Can you really buy land on the moon legally?
No, you can’t buy land on the moon legally. This is because of the Outer Space Treaty that was set up in 1967 which prevents any individual or country from owning the moon. Despite this, a lot of people believe that you can buy land on the moon.
For a lot of people it seems like a fun novelty gift for a friend or member of the family, but you cannot actually buy any land on the moon. Not even an inch of land. So why do people seem to think that you can, and where has this idea come from?
Buying people a small amount of land has become quite a common gift in recent years.
These gifts are not taken as a serious present, and in most cases the person will not ever visit the piece of land that they have been gifted, in the same way that no one will be able to visit a star that has been gifted to them.
But where has the idea of buying land on the moon came from?
Over the years there have been many hoax claims of individuals saying that they have legally bought land on the moon, but none of these claims have ever been found true.
It is likely that these claims are fueled by the huge amount of gifting companies who sell ‘acre of land on the moon’ gift packs as a unique present.
These packs give the impression that you are actually buying land on the moon, with maps to show the ‘plot’ that you have bought. But in reality, all you are paying for is a fake deed because these packs are not legally binding.
As we have said, the Outer Space Treaty prevents anyone from owning the moon and any of the land on it. So even though these are a nice gift, be aware that you are not legally buying land on the moon by purchasing one of these packs.