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Lecture 13: Who Owns the Moon?

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Lecture 13 of the course Our Moon: From Imagination to Exploration. In this lecture, I discuss the question: who owns the Moon? I go through the five Outer Space Treaties, then I discuss international waters and Antarctica. Please see presenter notes for what I said about each slide in class.

For more information, please visit https://ourmoon.space/

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Lecture 13: Who Owns the Moon?

  1. 1. Our Moon Lecture 13 Who Owns the Moon? Images: NASA, QuinceMedia
  2. 2. Image: Arthur Mees “This picture helps us to understand the wonderful way in which the British Empire is established throughout the world.” —From 1910 Brenter?
  3. 3. Outer Space Treaty (1967) Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies Image: Happenstance, Danlaycock et al. Parties = 109 Signatories = 23 Non-parties ~ 74
  4. 4. Rescue Agreement (1968) Agreement on the Rescue of Astronauts, the Return of Astronauts and the Return of Objects Launched into Outer Space Image: Iiivan9528 Parties = 98 Signatories = 23 Non-parties ~ 85
  5. 5. Space Liability Convention (1972) Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects Image: Iiivan9528 Parties = 96 Signatories = 19 Non-parties ~ 91
  6. 6. Registration Convention (1975) Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space Image: Iiivan9528 Parties = 69 Signatories = 3 Non-parties ~ 134
  7. 7. Moon Treaty (1979) Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies Image: Happenstance et al., Danlaycock Parties = 18 Signatories = 4 Non-parties ~ 184
  8. 8. Outer Space Treaty (1967) 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. Article II 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. Parties = 109 Signatories = 23 Non-parties ~ 74
  9. 9. Outer Space Treaty (1967) Article VI 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. The activities of non-governmental entities in outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, shall require authorization and continuing supervision by the appropriate State Party to the Treaty. When activities are carried on in outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, by an international organization, responsibility for compliance with this Treaty shall be borne both by the international organization and by the States Parties to the Treaty participating in such organization. Parties = 109 Signatories = 23 Non-parties ~ 74
  10. 10. Moon Treaty (1979) Parties = 18 Signatories = 4 Non-parties ~ 184 Article 3 1. The Moon shall be used by all States Parties exclusively for peaceful purposes. 2. Any threat or use of force or any other hostile act or threat of hostile act on the Moon is prohibited. It is likewise prohibited to use the Moon in order to commit any such act or to engage in any such threat in relation to the Earth, the Moon, spacecraft, the personnel of spacecraft or man- made space objects.
  11. 11. Moon Treaty (1979) Parties = 18 Signatories = 4 Non-parties ~ 184 Article 3 3. States Parties shall not place in orbit around or other trajectory to or around the Moon objects carrying nuclear weapons or any other kinds of weapons of mass destruction or place or use such weapons on or in the Moon. 4. The establishment of military bases, installations and fortifications, the testing of any type of weapons and the conduct of military maneuvers on the Moon shall be forbidden. The use of military personnel for scientific research or for any other peaceful purposes shall not be prohibited. The use of any equipment or facility necessary for peaceful exploration and use of the Moon shall also not be prohibited.
  12. 12. Moon Treaty (1979) Parties = 18 Signatories = 4 Non-parties ~ 184 Article 11 1. The Moon and its natural resources are the common heritage of mankind, which finds its expression in the provisions of this Agreement, in particular in paragraph 5 of this article. 2. The Moon is not subject to national appropriation by any claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means.
  13. 13. Moon Treaty (1979) Parties = 18 Signatories = 4 Non-parties ~ 184 Article 11 3. Neither the surface nor the subsurface of the Moon, nor any part thereof or natural resources in place, shall become property of any State, international intergovernmental or non-governmental organization, national organization or non-governmental entity or of any natural person. The placement of personnel, space vehicles, equipment, facilities, stations and installations on or below the surface of the Moon, including structures connected with its surface or subsurface, shall not create a right of ownership over the surface or the subsurface of the Moon or any areas thereof. The foregoing provisions are without prejudice to the international regime referred to in paragraph 5 of this article.
  14. 14. International Waters Image: PLOS Biology
  15. 15. Law of the Sea Image: historicair United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1994)
  16. 16. Law of the Sea Image: Canuckguy, Danlaycock, et. al. United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1994) Parties = 168 Also represented by EU Signatories = 14 Non-members ~ 24
  17. 17. Antarctica Video: NASA
  18. 18. Antarctica Image: Lokal_Profil Argentina Australia Chile France New Zealand Norway United Kingdom Territorial Claims
  19. 19. Antarctica Image: Canuckguy, Danlaycock Consulting status, territorial claim Consulting status, reserving right to make territorial claim Consulting status No consulting status Non-party UN member states and observers Antarctic Treaty System
  20. 20. Virginia Law Review

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