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Folks are legally permitted to own moon property under international law, say two legal scholars acquainted with the ins and outs of space law, and also the establishment of lunar property rights is necessary to provide financial resources for eventual lunar settlement.

Based on authors Dave Wasser and Douglas Jobes of the Space Settlement Institute, the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 doesn't forbid nations from recognizing land claims produced by private organizations that raise money to pay for future lunar exploration and settlement initiatives.

"Nations could recognize land ownership claims made by private space settlements without being responsible for national appropriation or any other violation of the Treaty," write Wasser and Jobes. Their report appears inside a recent publication of the SMU Journal of Air Law and Commerce, published through Southern Methodist University.

One organization doing what Wasser and Jobes suggest is Lunar International. The business's system of promoting lunar land states fund lunar exploration allows regular Earth-bound citizens to own moon property. Should the group flourish in its efforts, those who purchased land claims through Lunar International would enjoy full property rights to their slice of property around the moon.

"The sale of private property rights may be the only realistic means by which mankind will explore and settle the moon," said Jackson James, president and chief moon officer of Lunar International. "It isn't reasonable to visualize that governments is ever going to have the ability to overcome political pressures to consistently allocate the required funding to such costly projects."

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Based on Wasser and Jobes, systems like the one developed by Lunar International could spark massive private investment that will result in the establishment of permanent lunar settlements. James agrees, noting that purchases of moon property through Lunar International have nearly tripled throughout the first quarter of 2009 when compared to same period in 2008. The organization offers land claims to property on the moon in a number of geographic regions, such as the famed Sea of Tranquility where man first stepped foot around the moon, starting at less than $20 an acre.

The system established by Lunar International is not unlike those used to colonize america a few centuries ago, said James.

"The people buying lunar land claims are today's pioneers," said James. "They dream of a better future for themselves and their children, and they comprehend the importance of developing settlements wide to protect us against Earth-bound catastrophes like nuclear war and radical global warming."

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