Wednesday, December 10, 2008 - "Who Owns the Moon?"

I am interviewed by the famed space journalist Leonard David for the front page of

Virgiliu Pop is a research specialist at the Romanian Space Agency. He has for years been keeping a legal eye on the area of space property rights, and his new book, "Who Owns the Moon? - Extraterrestrial Aspects of Land and Mineral Resources Ownership" (Springer, 2008) was published this month.
Pop has been delving into what has shaped the law of extraterrestrial real estate, and the norms which express this law. ... Pop favors property rights over group hugs.
"Despite the noble ideals of equity and care for the have-nots, the Common Heritage paradigm of the Moon Treaty has more faults than merits," Pop told
"A refutation of the Common Heritage principle does not mean, however, that the developing world will, or should, be left behind in the space era," he said. "China, India and Brazil are living proofs that a developing country can, through its own effort, join the spacefaring club. Instead of freeloading on the efforts of the older spacefarers, the have-nots should pool their meager financial resources into a common space agency or into regional ones, and proceed at exploiting the riches of outer space for themselves."

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