Politics The moon ... Who owns it ?


Feb 24, 2019
I saw a headline in the news : China to build a base on the Moon ! They are looking at a suitable site near the south pole and they claim they can do it in 10 years.
My question is this : Who owns the moon ? Is this a UN issue or a global legal matter ? Or simply, first come first served. ?
If we take a page from human history, it was always the super powers that claimed land in the name of their country. Whether they be sailing ships or space travelling vehicles, the outcome may be similar to our ancestors.


Code Monkey
Staff member
Mar 20, 2004
At least for China I think they'd be governed by the United Nations Outer Space Treaty that they signed back in the 1980's. Now of course that was way back before it was likely China was actually a candidate to realistically get to the moon so these days I suspect that they'd ignore any agreements they signed in the past and lay claim to anything they can. The rest of the UN members, though, would likely not recognize their claim leading to the same disputes we see today in the South China Sea but on the moon.
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