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Hotel Tycoon Seeks Property Rights On the Moon

Soulskill posted about 8 months ago | from the your-rights-onluna dept.

Moon 248

SonicSpike writes "The founder of Bigelow Aerospace, Robert Bigelow, made a fortune in the hotel and real estate businesses, and he's pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into an enterprise that will create inflatable habitats designed for life beyond Earth. He entered into an agreement with NASA to provide a report on how ventures like his could help NASA get back to the moon, and even Mars, faster and cheaper. Bigelow is applying to the Federal Aviation Administration's Office of Commercial Space Transportation to amend a 1967 international agreement on the moon so that a system of private property rights can be established there. 'When there isn't law and order,' he said, 'there's chaos.' Bigelow said he believes the right to own what one discovers on the moon is the incentive needed for private enterprise to commit massive amounts of capital and risk lives. 'It provides a foundational security to investors,' he said. Bigelow does not feel that any one nation should own the moon. 'No one anything should own the moon,' he said. 'But, yes, multiple entities, groups, individuals, yes, they should have the opportunity to own the moon.'"

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If you can defend it .. it's yours (5, Interesting)

ModernGeek (601932) | about 8 months ago | (#45434647)

If you can't defend something, you can't own something.

Re:If you can defend it .. it's yours (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45434789)

If you can't defend something, you can't own something.

I already own the moon with the rest of the world under the current treaty which is using the "rule of law", (not the "chaos" the article claims).
Under your theory, we only need shoot him down on his way up or I loose my right to own the moon?

fine.
I am tired of reasoning with small minds too. Lets just get on with the first lunar war.

Re:If you can defend it .. it's yours (1)

Guillermito (187510) | about 8 months ago | (#45434793)

Well, he obviously can't. That's why he is asking the US government to do it for him.

Re:If you can defend it .. it's yours (2)

jythie (914043) | about 8 months ago | (#45435591)

Which I am guessing it can not since for the US government to recognize his property on the moon, the US would first have to claim the moon as its territory, which other nations would probably not be happy about. So the US would have to take a significant diplomatic risk which, if the profit for a local company is great enough it likely would, but I do not see a business plan here that would even begin to justify it.

Re:If you can defend it .. it's yours (3, Interesting)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 8 months ago | (#45434815)

I am reminded of a book, "The Man Who Sold the Moon." Compared to todays culture, it is a very telling story. Also, trained seals is a very telling concept.

Re:If you can defend it .. it's yours (1)

lgw (121541) | about 8 months ago | (#45434885)

If you can defend it .. it's yours

Not if your main properties are back here on Earth. Really, until some distant future of entirely off-Earth sustainability, you need to make nice with at least some Earth government.

Once you can push CHON asteroids around, that's a different story, since then you have both sustainability and military supremacy over Earth.

Re:If you can defend it .. it's yours (1)

Hartree (191324) | about 8 months ago | (#45435049)

"you need to make nice with at least some Earth government."

I think that counts as not being able to defend it, and ceding the rights for the promise of security.

Re:If you can defend it .. it's yours (1)

lgw (121541) | about 8 months ago | (#45435295)

My point is: it's not about physical defense of your property on the moon, you can do that and still have it effectively taken from you because you need the Earth. That's different from the colonies that led to America, or the frontier thereafter.

Re:If you can defend it .. it's yours (1)

Hartree (191324) | about 8 months ago | (#45435705)

I mostly agree with you, but the example of the colonies in the Americas isn't a good one.

The initial settlers absolutely needed Spain, Britain or other established powers. The continent had challenges that were far more tenacious than those on the moon. Specifically, the weakened, but still much stronger than a few colonist, existing civilizations.

The Native Americans didn't always appreciate the Europeans moving into their territory and it often had to be accomplished via force of arms, wealth and people coming from Europe.

Ask the Vikings how easy it was to maintain New World colonies in the face of opposition from existing civilizations. They tried, and had significant technological advantages, but didn't have the brute power to maintain their colonies in the face of bad weather and the people already there.

Re:If you can defend it .. it's yours (3, Interesting)

VernonNemitz (581327) | about 8 months ago | (#45435079)

The normal variation on that theme has to do with Governments (usually local) doing the defending for you, per the police forces. Meanwhile, Government also arbitrates between claims -- if two dudes claim the same piece of landscape for development purposes, who gets it? So, even if the Moon Treaty needs to continue keeping any one Nation from claiming ownership of the Moon or other bodies, it needs to have added to it some sort of system for arbitrating between ownership-claims made by others. And, possibly, defending its decisions. Else there will indeed be all the chaos that can result from "might makes right".

Re:If you can defend it .. it's yours (5, Funny)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 8 months ago | (#45435107)

I own the sun. Go ahead, just try landing there, my defenses will obliterate you!

Re:If you can defend it .. it's yours (2)

stewsters (1406737) | about 8 months ago | (#45435737)

You are sending harmful radiation into my yard, causing me skin cancer. Please cease and desist.

Re:If you can defend it .. it's yours (1)

pigiron (104729) | about 8 months ago | (#45435131)

The moon is a harsh mistress.

Re:If you can defend it .. it's yours (1)

thomst (1640045) | about 8 months ago | (#45435327)

pigiron quipped:

The moon is a harsh mistress.

And Bob Bigelow is a slumlord.

I've lived in one of his bigger "residence hotels". It was a hellhole. Cop cars day and night, shootings and stabbings, bloodstains on the carpet.

I understand Bob Hsieh, co-founder of Zappos, has bought up a big chunk of Fremont Street, and is steadily redeveloping it into a pretty decent area - but, five years ago, downtown Vegas was a complete slum. And Bigelow helped create that slum.

BTW - I think he's probably right about private property rights being the key to giving private capital the incentive needed to invest in colonizing and economically exploiting Luna. That, however, does not change who he is.

Re:If you can defend it .. it's yours (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45435387)

great book thx for reminding me.

Re:If you can defend it .. it's yours (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 8 months ago | (#45435735)

That's why I ALWAYS wear a condom. And a thick rubber whole-body suit.

Re:If you can defend it .. it's yours (1)

Princeofcups (150855) | about 8 months ago | (#45435397)

If you can't defend something, you can't own something.

Because we are still a barbaric world where basic human courtesy doesn't apply. What a sad, sick statement.

Re:If you can defend it .. it's yours (2)

CreatureComfort (741652) | about 8 months ago | (#45435569)

That doesn't make it any less true.

Re:If you can defend it .. it's yours (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | about 8 months ago | (#45435583)

And that is why I support the right to bear arms. As long as there's a discussion about the right to be had... that right should remain because we still need it.

Nobody owns the moon. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45434689)

Why try to develop the moon anyway? It's almost as extreme as space itself, so why not just build an orbiting hotel instead?

Re:Nobody owns the moon. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45434747)

Because all spacecraft leak and an astronomical body has can replace lost volatiles?

Re:Nobody owns the moon. (1)

hebertrich (472331) | about 8 months ago | (#45434839)

Many will respond : because it's there .. I do not see the " future " in this .. first major accident that will happen and their business will be washed off and stamped out of existence , who will want to die for these individuals corporate profits ? they would need to pay ME big time for me to take the risks associated with this.
Astronauts knew it was dangerous and took a step for their Nation , Who will take a step for Bigelow's wallet ?
 

Re:Nobody owns the moon. (1)

leonardluen (211265) | about 8 months ago | (#45434957)

Could have probably said something similar about airplane travel a hundred years ago.

Re:Nobody owns the moon. (1)

luis_a_espinal (1810296) | about 8 months ago | (#45435233)

Could have probably said something similar about airplane travel a hundred years ago.

This. And that was also certainly the same concern with trans-oceanic exploration. Shit, I sure that Homo Erectus had the same argument

Grok: Be careful.

Ung: What?

Grok: This taming fire business, you are going to burn yourself. I don't see the ROI considering the risks. Just munch the raw bone marrow. Much safer that way.

Re:Nobody owns the moon. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45435499)

This.

This is getting annoying.

Re:Nobody owns the moon. (1)

jythie (914043) | about 8 months ago | (#45435565)

True, and they were wrong. But it is hard to say if that will be the case here or not. We do not even know if we can build a cost effective habitat that far out.

Re:Nobody owns the moon. (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 8 months ago | (#45435051)

Why try to develop the moon anyway? It's almost as extreme as space itself, so why not just build an orbiting hotel instead?

Bigelow is working on orbital hotels. But, when all's said and done, there's not much to do in orbit once you've looked out the window for a few hours and tried out some zero-g shagging. At least on the Moon you can climb into a space suit and go exploring.

Re:Nobody owns the moon. (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about 8 months ago | (#45435289)

It depends on what you mean by hotel. If you mean “resort hotel for tourist”, then I would agree.

But I am thinking “extended stay hotels for workers”. Build a research stations then rent out rooms and lab space. I think that could work if there were any serious need for commercial research. Unfortunately I can’t think of any demand for that type of research over the next 10 to 20 years. (Please do not confuse commercial research with basic research. They are 2 different animals.)

Re:Nobody owns the moon. (1)

SydShamino (547793) | about 8 months ago | (#45435457)

It's not as extreme as space if you can dig. Underground, it's easier to protect against radiation and air loss. Plus you can maybe do so using resources you acquired there, instead of resources you pulled out of a gravity well.

Just what we need... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45434711)

An eyesore to ruin the moon with ads that you can't avoid and can be seen by everyone on Earth and can't be removed because...they own it.

Re:Just what we need... (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 8 months ago | (#45435109)

An eyesore to ruin the moon with ads that you can't avoid and can be seen by everyone on Earth and can't be removed because...they own it.

You have no idea how frickin' BIG the Moon is, do you?

The amount of material and energy required to make something on it big enough to be visible from Earth would be way too prohibitive.

Here: let me help you a bit... [space.com]

Not a fan... (2)

intermodal (534361) | about 8 months ago | (#45434715)

Can't say I'm in favor of developing the moon, but when I sit back and think about it, it seems inevitable. Doesn't mean I have to like it, though.

Good Grief (3, Informative)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 8 months ago | (#45434719)

It's rather irrelevant what you think, Mr. Bigelow. There are currently international treaties banning any nation (and by extension any citizen of a nation) from claiming extraterrestrial territory. So bugger off and do something useful with your money.

Re:Good Grief (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45434797)

And we all know that international treaties are NEVER broken....

Re:Good Grief (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45434841)

and it is attitudes like yours why we will never get off this planet.

Re:Good Grief (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | about 8 months ago | (#45434953)

Uh, no. The reason we don't send people to other celestial bodies is primarily due to cost and safety.

Re:Good Grief (2)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about 8 months ago | (#45434991)

Except for the manned visits we already made to the moon, you mean?

Or maybe you meant the unmanned probes that have visited many other planets and even left our solar system entirely.

Re:Good Grief (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45435547)

They meant something more permanent like colonization, not individual instances of escaping Earth's gravity.

Re:Good Grief (2)

alexander_686 (957440) | about 8 months ago | (#45434901)

Well, that is kind of his point. He is asking for the US to try to amend the treaty. Even if he gets the US to ask for an amendment it does not mean it will be granted. The way I read this, Bigwlow wants to open preliminary discussions.

Re:Good Grief (1, Troll)

0123456 (636235) | about 8 months ago | (#45435075)

The Outer Space Treaty is one of the worst pieces of communist garbage of the last hundred years, and another reason Apollo put space travel back decades.

Re: Good Grief (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45435235)

Great. US style capitalism screws up pretty much everything it touches these days, and now one of those who've benefited from that wants to use public resources to give him private property.

Typical.

Re:Good Grief (1)

jfengel (409917) | about 8 months ago | (#45435307)

Which seems reasonable. The treaty is easy to follow when nobody's actually going there. It helped allay paranoia when the US was going there: we weren't going to set up a base anyway.

Sooner or later, though, somebody's going to start going on some kind of regular basis. And it would be nice to have clearer guidelines than high-minded, utopian dictates that nobody owns anything.

I'm skeptical that anything will come of it, since nobody's really in a mood to cooperate, and it's too abstract and far-off for it to really focus anybody's attention. New rules are likely to be just as bad and impractical as the existing ones, in the absence of knowing what it's actually like to live and work in space.

Re:Good Grief (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about 8 months ago | (#45435371)

Given that historically anything that is owned by everybody (i.e. by nobody) tends to fall apart from abuse and neglect, if we are going to develop Moon (a long shot but whatever, the guy is thinking long term) the best model is one where many people OWN small parcels of it and are free to do with them as they please. Sort of like the way US was developed, not by a grand government plan but by dividing it up between individual with a stake in making it work.

Re:Good Grief (3, Interesting)

thomst (1640045) | about 8 months ago | (#45435497)

MightyMartian sneered:

It's rather irrelevant what you think, Mr. Bigelow. There are currently international treaties banning any nation (and by extension any citizen of a nation) from claiming extraterrestrial territory. So bugger off and do something useful with your money.

There ARE current international treaties banning ownership of an extraterrestrial body. They're foolish and outdated, and they need to be amended. Bigelow is attempting to persuade the US government to begin negotiating that process.

I think Bigelow is a swine - but he's right about what it will take to give private capital the incentive to invest the blood and treasure necessary to colonize and exploit extraterrestrial resources. We're getting ever closer to the day when companies like SpaceX will be capable of creating conglomerates that possess the technology and financial resources to do exactly that - but they won't commit them until they see the possibility of getting sufficient return on their investment to make the risk worth taking.

I'm all for government funding - NASA, the ESA, and so on - for space exploration efforts. But we can't COLONIZE the Moon without first modifying the existing Moon Treaty. Nor can we conduct commercial operations (such as ice mining) without amending it, because that 50-year-old treaty prohibits them.

Anybody - including people you despise - can have a good idea. Ideas should be considered on their own merits, rather than being dismissed out of hand, simply because you dislike their source.

Re:Good Grief (1)

jythie (914043) | about 8 months ago | (#45435695)

I suspect that even though the point that it feels far off has probably delayed reexamining the treaty, another big problem is it represents a rather significant can of worms that governments just do not want to deal with right now, not unless one of them has something significant to gain from it.

Let the big boys (government) do it: (1)

Hartree (191324) | about 8 months ago | (#45435549)

"So bugger off and do something useful with your money."

So, he should shut up and just play Kerbal Space Program like the rest of us?

If Elon Musk et al had that attitude, they wouldn't be about to launch the Falcon Heavy.

Sorry, I'm already there hunting whales. (5, Funny)

rolfwind (528248) | about 8 months ago | (#45434727)

We're whalers on the moon,
We carry a harpoon.
But there ain't no whales
So we tell tall tales
And sing our whaling tune.

Re:Sorry, I'm already there hunting whales. (4, Funny)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 8 months ago | (#45434787)

Forget about your whales. I'm going to build a theme park, with blackjack and hookers.

Re:Sorry, I'm already there hunting whales. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45435685)

Forget the park and the blackjack.

Re:Sorry, I'm already there hunting whales. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45434945)

There's one whale on the moon [ngfiles.com] .

FAA rights? (1)

sqorbit (3387991) | about 8 months ago | (#45434729)

Did I miss something, since when does the FAA control the rights to the moon? I think that the other countries on this planet would be a little upset if the US decided the moon was ours and we would decide who could do what with it.

Re:FAA rights? (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 8 months ago | (#45434825)

That's the kicker - they've asked the FAA to amend the international agreement which can't be done unilaterally. OTOH, since it's a treaty between nations, no private entity can initiate a change request.

It's quite impractical, I'm afraid... (3, Interesting)

tibit (1762298) | about 8 months ago | (#45434743)

Just read The Apollo Experience Lessons Learned for Constellation Lunar Dust Management [nasa.gov] . Summary: Moon is a rather impractical place to be, unless: you have a way of washing everything on your way in and all of the exterior equipment is designed to be dust tight in vacuum environment (a nigh impossible feat). The dust will grind everything to a halt. It's that bad. And you better not got any into the shuttles subject to microgravity - both the people and the equipment will be in bad shape after a trip.

Re:It's quite impractical, I'm afraid... (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 8 months ago | (#45434771)

Hard to take the report seriously with glaring errors like this "Spetember 2006" "

Re:It's quite impractical, I'm afraid... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45434995)

What's wrong with Spetember? It's the month after Augist and before Otcober.

Re:It's quite impractical, I'm afraid... (1)

tibit (1762298) | about 8 months ago | (#45435533)

So, you agree with my conclusion, then - I mean, the only nitpick you have is a typo. Um, thanks?

Risk lives ? (1)

hebertrich (472331) | about 8 months ago | (#45434759)

mmit massive amounts of capital and risk lives ..
let him be the first to risk it and then i might have respect , but risking someone's else's neck is nothing short of cowardice.
let him be his first passenger. then we talk .
Property rights on the Moon is totally moronic. It does not belong to a person or country , it belongs to humanity and as such noone should be making claims on it.
Use it , go visit , do what you want but never should the Moon be the property of an individual or organisations.

Re:Risk lives ? (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about 8 months ago | (#45435013)

The guy is what – 67 years old. Another 10 years until the first flight. 77 seems old to be a astronaut. And this is going to be team effort. Or are you suggesting that JFK should have been the first man on the moon because he pitched and backed the idea?

As for property - how would you handle somebody wanting to build a multibillion dollar research facility on the moon? Should the people who built it be able to run it or should it be the people with the biggest guns? If I wanted to build a Helim-3 mine can I build it anywhere that I wanted because nobody owns anything so nobody controls anything?

Not sure what the answer is but I might lean towards the UN granting 99 year leases or something along those lines.

Now this sounds like a perfect job for (1)

ihtoit (3393327) | about 8 months ago | (#45434843)

Clothcrete. Now, since I can't find a link, here's the SP:

What this stuff is, is what it sounds like: a heavy canvas-type material doped in cement. What the inventor had was an air bladder which he'd fill, this would be wrapped in this cloth. When the bladder's fully inflated (various shapes available), you'd spray this stuff with water, wait an hour or two for it to set hard, then set to cutting holes for windows and hatches. After about a day it's cured and a: strong enough to lean on and b: basically invulnerable to small-arms fire. Apparently the MoD were all over this as an alternative to lean-to shelters for troops in semi-permanent encampments.

Re:Now this sounds like a perfect job for (1)

wagnerrp (1305589) | about 8 months ago | (#45435303)

You need a whole lot of mass for any permanent structure, as you need to shield from radiation. The only reasonable solution is to build your structure using the available local materials. To that end, you actually can produce a form of cement using the lunar regolith.

Re:Now this sounds like a perfect job for (1)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | about 8 months ago | (#45435315)

Do you mean the Neff bubble houses? He developed a technique called airforming in which a big air bladder was inflated then sprayed with gunite. After the gunite set up the bladder was deflated and pulled out to be used again.

http://99percentinvisible.org/episode/bubble-houses/ [99percentinvisible.org]

The moon is a harsh mistress (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45434859)

IT'S HAPPENING

Well... (1)

Rorgg (673851) | about 8 months ago | (#45434867)

I'd like to visit The Moon on a rocket ship high in the air. Yes, I'd like to visit The Moon, but I don't think I'd like to live there.

At least bed bugs will be easy to kill there (3, Funny)

JoeyRox (2711699) | about 8 months ago | (#45434871)

Just open the windows.

reexamining the idea of property (1)

ffflala (793437) | about 8 months ago | (#45434881)

Bigelow's move sounds like a bald attempt at a money/power grab, but hopefully it will help trigger some long-needed reflection on the concept of property rights. We just kind of accept how it works and get on with our lives, but there is a very strange bit of reasoning at the root of property ownership. If someone wants to "own" a bit of the moon, who should they pay, if anyone? Should it be enough that they get there first, AND can afford the weapons required to defend it from subsequent travelers? And what about real estate on Mars, Europa, and habitable planets beyond our solar system?

When a person or organization owns a bit of land, they have the right to keep (mostly) everyone else off of that property. Does that mean that anyone who owns property has in effect taken that property from everyone else? Well, sort of. The systems we've come to accept tend to ensure inequality, as property = capital, capital gains create massive wealth, and that wealth is subsequently kept from everyone else in the world, because... someone was lucky enough to be born to a property owner. It's not a particularly fair system.

Re:reexamining the idea of property (3, Insightful)

NoImNotNineVolt (832851) | about 8 months ago | (#45435373)

Homesteading [wikipedia.org] is the principle by which one gains ownership of an unowned natural resources by performing an act of original appropriation. Appropriation could be enacted by putting an unowned resource to active use (as with using it to produce a product), joining it with previously acquired property or by marking it as owned (as with livestock branding).

This is how the Earth's surface, originally not "owned" by anyone, turned into what it is today. If you accept that it worked here (as most people do), then there's no reason to suspect it won't work on the moon or anywhere else.

Re:reexamining the idea of property (2)

ffflala (793437) | about 8 months ago | (#45435463)

That's a good theory, but I don't believe it accurately describes how things came to be as they currently are. Some examples include: the ongoing conflicting claims of ownership rights in the middle east (particularly the so-called "Holy Land"), and also the entirety of the continents of South, Central, and North America.

Both are examples of massive tracts of land of which the original appropriators (whoever they were) have long since been displaced from "their" lands in the face of invading military forces.

Re:reexamining the idea of property (4, Insightful)

NoImNotNineVolt (832851) | about 8 months ago | (#45435645)

Annexation and appropriation as a result of military conflict is orthogonal to the issue of initial appropriation. That is, nobody has currently claimed the moon. That means we don't need to kill anyone before we pry it from their hands.

Your counterexamples, the Americas, are no exception to the idea of homesteading. The indigenous peoples (or their ancestors) that once ran the show did at one point in time arrive in an unpopulated land. They, through homesteading, appropriated said land. Many centuries later, white man came and killed them.

When the indigenous peoples' ancestors first pouring in across the land bridge where we find the Bering strait today, they didn't feel the need to reimburse everyone "back home" for the new land they were homesteading. When they settled on the American land, they had not "in effect taken that property from everyone else". They had taken that property from nobody else.

Of course, with extraterrestrial land, people have this odd notion that the human race collectively owns the entire universe. Perhaps the result of some unfortunate treaties, this belief is one of the biggest obstacles to commercial development of space. Why should I have any stake of ownership in the moon? I've never been there, I've never done anything to warrant such ownership. Though it would be incredibly profitable to mine the moon for water, why would anyone bother if they couldn't legally sell any of the water they mined for lack of ownership rights?

Re:reexamining the idea of property (1)

jythie (914043) | about 8 months ago | (#45435747)

Homesteading, however, presupposes a government willing and able to enforce it. All of those 'unowned natural resource' that were appropriated WERE in use by someone else already, their original appropriation was only from the perspective of various governments which were willing to back up their own citizens occupying land. In many ways 'homesteading' was really just 'wealth redistribution' combined with 'imminent domain'., one government taking land away from people in a weaker government and giving it to their own people to develop under the idea that their people made better use of it.

See: overreach (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45434891)

1b) defeat one's own purpose by trying to do more than is possible.
"he was an arrogant egotist who overreached himself"

A dollar a square metre (2)

petes_PoV (912422) | about 8 months ago | (#45434919)

The Moon is about 38 million sq. km. Divided amongst 7 billion people, that is just over 5,000 sq. m. each.

With shades of The Man Who Sold the Moon, this guy can have my piece at the rate in the title. Just send me the cheque.

Re:A dollar a square metre (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45435329)

yea but only half of that is prime real-estate. The rest has a view on the parking lot.

Own??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45434927)

I just have this mental picture of Daffy Duck jumping up and down shouting "Mine! Mine! Mine!'...

The man who sold the moon. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45434937)

This sounds like something straight out of a Heinlein novel.

the whole thing is backwards (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45434941)

Why can a person "own" land? Why can a person inherit ownership of land? And then make money by renting it. I don't agree with the concept. We all share the same finite space, it should be the individual that should pay the collective for the right of exclusive access to a piece of land, and there should be no re-renting.

Wanna put something permanent on the moon? Pay every fucking Earthling his/her share.

Too late to get it right on Earth, but we can start right in space.

Re:the whole thing is backwards (1)

pigiron (104729) | about 8 months ago | (#45435115)

Communism!

Re:the whole thing is backwards (1)

jythie (914043) | about 8 months ago | (#45435759)

Ahm, except for no subletting, that is how things work. What you described are essentially property taxes.

SOLD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45434961)

I will sell my 5 moonacre claim to Mr. Bigelow for 30,0000 in Bitcoins. Contact me.

Hotel Tycoon Moon Version (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45434971)

Hotel Tycoon Moon Version

Americans seem to think (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45434981)

that because someone made money in one field, being rich qualifies you for any other field. Bigelow is a howling lunatic, money just means other people listen to the howls. If Bigelow was some guy dressed in tatters pushing a shopping cart yelling about the Moon, you'd walk on the other side of the street.

This the same Bigelow that laid off half his workers just two years ago?

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/20/uk-space-business-bigelow-idUSLNE79J01T20111020 [reuters.com]

Oh yeah! But now suddenly it's Moon Hotel time?

Oh wait, didn't someone else want a space hotel?

http://www.cnn.com/TECH/9705/25/japan.space/ [cnn.com]

Well, it's only been 16 years, maybe they need 50 more?

Re:Americans seem to think (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 8 months ago | (#45435123)

A 'howling lunatic' who's actually put space station modules in orbit for testing. That puts him ahead of everyone in the 'space hotel' business, unless you count the Russians flying tourists to ISS.

Re:Americans seem to think (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45435727)

Howard Hughes got the Spruce Goose to fly for a minute too.

Official space helmet on, Captain Video! (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about 8 months ago | (#45435001)

One of these days... One of these days...To the moon, Alice! -- Ralph

Oh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45435021)

No single entity should own the moon (subscript: without giving me cash)!

'Murrica!!! (2)

bob_super (3391281) | about 8 months ago | (#45435089)

Hey look, there's something! I must figure out how to own or profit from it!

(yes I know, everyone did that at some point, not just the US)

All of a sudden Joni Mitchell's inside my head... (1)

ArtFart (578813) | about 8 months ago | (#45435113)

...singing "Pave paradise, Put up a parking lot"

Give everyone a few square meters (4, Insightful)

Princeofcups (150855) | about 8 months ago | (#45435121)

Divide the moon up into N Billion equal pieces, and give each person on the planet an equal share. Then Bigelow can buy his land on the free market. Oh wait, that's not what he wants. He wants the moon carved up and given to the wealthiest people to make them even wealthier, backed by the world military to make sure that the poor get nothing out of it. Ah, capitalism. How you solve all the world's problems.

Re:Give everyone a few square meters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45435629)

Americans are screwed anyway, thanks to the travesty known as "Eminent Domain."

captcha: unfair

survey (1)

photo pilot (3425097) | about 8 months ago | (#45435141)

I say we give him clear title to anything he gets surveyed.

So... (3, Funny)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | about 8 months ago | (#45435143)

Who's getting the rights to Uranus?

What if... (1)

scuzzlebutt (517123) | about 8 months ago | (#45435229)

...that's no moon [but] it's a space station?

Too. Fucking. Early. (3, Insightful)

luis_a_espinal (1810296) | about 8 months ago | (#45435325)

Bigelow is applying to the Federal Aviation Administration's Office of Commercial Space Transportation to amend a 1967 international agreement on the moon so that a system of private property rights can be established there.

Too early. And if ownership is to be given, let it be to nations in terms of sovereign rights (or leases), not private individuals. Then those nations can lease exploitation/leasing rights to individuals and corporations.

The Moon is humanity's patrimony. Individuals and private entities must not have ownership right on the moon just in the same way we do with Antarctica. It is simply just too early. Here be dragons.

I would much prefer private entities explore the concept of asteroid mining and space station building. Once that is done, and it is done for a while, maybe, just maybe we can talk about private property rights on the Moon.

God I hope not (2)

Phoenix666 (184391) | about 8 months ago | (#45435379)

The day terrestrial laws apply to extraterrestrial space is the day humanity curls up into a little ball and dies. Space is vast, and the ability of dissidents and frontiersmen to charge out into it and carve life from cold balls of rock gives hope to all those who despair of the cause of freedom here on Earth.

And if I'm the intrepid guy who makes it to Mars and builds a sustainable colony there, the last g*damn thing I'm gonna worry about is filing paperwork with retard bureaucrats in Washington DC or the UN. They can all go hang. In fact, I would post a sign on the outskirts of my settlement: "Lawyers, politicians, and bureaucrats shot on sight."

Owning The Moon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45435431)

So this guy is making the claim that someone (or multiples of someone) should own the moon. Reading between the lines, I guess he means that person is him, or entities that he owns. What are the chances the average person will be able to own more than a couple of square inches of the moon? In the meantime the wealthy will buy up hundreds of square kilometers of property and mineral rights, thereby making the rich even richer.

Gosh, who could have predicted that outcome?

What the heck. I'll sell it to him (1)

Mike Buddha (10734) | about 8 months ago | (#45435433)

Gimme a call. I'll sell you the whole moon, man.

I'm totally cool with it, except... (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 8 months ago | (#45435523)

He can't put it on the side facing the Earth. I don't mind him building a hotel there, but I don't want it in my view shed, or in the view shed of [insert favorite historic landmark here].

What's needed by private enterprise (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about 8 months ago | (#45435597)

Is more focus on humanity and less on capitalism. What's wrong with spending $20B to benefit people who can't afford to spend $20? Especially when $20B isn't even a drop in the bucket to your collective wealth.

We need the 1% to start acting more like the tiny speck of life that they belong to in comparison to the scale of the very large and perhaps unpopulated universe -- wIth interests to coincide with that. Living for your wealth and greed only goes so far in the large scheme of things.

No, he can't own the moon. He can take it though. (1)

whistlingtony (691548) | about 8 months ago | (#45435693)

Why bother? What resources are there? Helium3? Gravity? Is having gravity worth it? If he wants property rights, why not just build up a satellite hotel. There's nothing special about the moon. There's no magnetosphere to protect from radiation, correct? A floating satellite would get just as much solar power. If he wants to give people a chance to walk on the moon (that is something lots of people would pay for, so I guess the moon has THAT going for it), why not just ride down from the satellite?

I wonder... If I go on a space ride, do I own my exhilations? How about my shit and piss? Can I charge for them? That's valuable mass there, and someone will eventually use it to grow food in. Can I charge him? Or does he own it since he paid to have it "escape" the gravity of Earth?

Not that my opinion matters in the slightest, since I'm not rich, but I say.... No. He can't have the moon. It's a cultural heritage of the folks on Earth. Go mine an asteroid or something that no one gives a shit about. I think he can own the colony. He can own the ship, and the walls, and the shit, and the piss... but he can't own the moon. Unless he takes it by force. Then we're SOL.

dear Mister Bigelow: (1)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | about 8 months ago | (#45435729)

FUCK YOU.
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