China may one day land on the moon and claim a certain area as its territory: ‘Head of NASA’
The powerful countries of the world have been competing for space supremacy for a long time, and this race for supremacy raises many important questions. Such questions are raised as to what color can a claim of celestial bodies like the moon bring?
It may sound like science fiction, but we are getting ready to colonize astronomical bodies like the Moon and Mars. NASA and ESA’s Artemis program aims to establish a base camp on the moon by the end of the current decade and to establish more research centers there in the next decade. The China National Space Administration and Russia’s federal space agency, Roscosmos, have announced plans to build separate facilities on the moon in the next decade.
The moon belongs to no one
The prospect of space colonization raises some big questions. The simplest of these questions is whether countries or companies can own the moon or other astronomical bodies.
According to Aleksander Sochik, Head of International Public Law at the European Space Agency, this cannot be done. In this regard, he explained, “A nation can fly a flag on the Moon, but it has no legal meaning or consequence. This is included in the Outer Space Treaty, where it is written that no country can claim sovereignty over the Moon or make it its territory.”
Offering another important explanation in this context, Susk said the scope of this law also extends to private companies like Elon Musk’s SpaceX. “We are talking here about international law,” he said. States have a responsibility to enforce laws on their citizens and private companies within their territories.”
Is it possible to get partial ownership of the moon?
So far, so good. But what would happen if people extracted material from the moon? Do they own and sell the content? According to Sujek, this is a major point of tension. “Country X or Y may say they have no interest in the Moon as their national territory, but they are interested in owning materials extracted from the Moon or Mars and selling them back to Earth,” Soucek said.
This tension is largely due to differing legal interpretations of Article II of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty. This provision states: “Space, including the Moon and other astronomical bodies, shall not be subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, use, occupation or by any means An other way”.
According to Suchek, although the clause clearly refers to possession of the moon as an astronomical body, different lawyers have different interpretations as to whether the clause allows nations or corporations to own parts of the moon for commercial use. Gives If parts of the moon can indeed be exploited, is there any need to share the profits? Is it a first come first serve issue? There is no agreement on these issues.
But according to Cai Yu Shrogel, president of the International Institute of Space Law, the Outer Space Treaty clearly states that no one can own material taken from the moon. He said: “It has no defects.” The Outer Space Treaty was intentionally misinterpreted. The states responsible for the special items should simply say: No, you cannot own these resources. If they do, they are violating international law.”
Space Non-Ownership Agreement
Humanity has come a long way since the Berlin Conference of 1884-1885 after the division of Africa by European countries. In the absence of universal agreement that owning land on the moon is a bad idea, the future of lunar colonization looks a lot less bloodthirsty. According to Suchek, “everyone wants to explore outer space, so international awareness is the greatest benefit of international cooperation.”
Observers often see space exploration as a beacon of hope for world peace, with treaties promoting binding cooperation and most nations striving for this harmony in space. The current Outer Space Treaty was successfully negotiated at the height of international tensions during the Cold War. Now, despite tensions over the war in Ukraine, Russian cosmonauts are working alongside Western cosmonauts on the International Space Station.
Cooperation in space for how long?
Although ISL President Shrugal agrees that major international space powers have learned from colonization, he remains less optimistic about the long-term future of international cooperation in space. Although the treaties have helped establish a basic international consensus, some controversies over space exploration seem inevitable. Earlier this year, NASA chief Bill Nelson said in an interview that China could one day land on the moon and claim a specific area as its territory.
China has strongly rejected the allegations and reaffirmed its commitment to peace and demilitarization in space. Shrugal said, “All space powers will disappear when there is chaos in space and celestial bodies. (The idea of chaos in space) was exactly what led to the Outer Space Treaty, when space powers weren’t sure how each would develop. We must not make the mistake of changing course.” Now in this situation.”