Can you own the moon?

John Locke in Space

Billionaires are making regular trips to space for a reason: they want to harness the potential economic payoff. We need to come up with a framework for property rights in space that will benefit all of humanity, not just the super rich, argues Rebecca Lowe. Under her proposal - inspired by philosopher John Locke - people could earn the right for the exclusive use of plots of moon land, as long as this advances certain moral aims.

Revisiting the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 that bans any appropriation of planetary or lunar land might be worth doing, writes Tony Milligan. But using John Locke’s 17th century framework is not the way to think about property rights in space. The Solar System is a very different place from Earth, and a whole new type of economy would need to be invented for it.

In two separate articles, Rebecca Lowe and Tony Milligan put forward their arguments on how we should think about property rig

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