A: That depends on what your definition of is, is. According to the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, countries can’t own lunar real estate. However, the Treaty doesn’t say anything about the rights of individuals to claim land.
Enter Dennis Hope, a California entrepreneur/ventriloquist who’s exploited the loophole to its fullest. In 1980, Hope announced his ownership of the moon (and, incidentally, the rest of the solar system) and promptly started selling off plots through his company, Lunar Embassy. Space-faring nations vehemently denied the legality of Hope’s business, pointing to the 1979 Moon Treaty, which forbids individual interstellar land investment. Finding yet another loophole, Hope countered by noting none of the space nations ever actually signed the treaty after the U.S. and Russia both refused.
But Moon Treaty or not, an individual can still only own land through the jurisdiction of his or her home country, and if nations can’t own it, then people can’t own land through them. Tenuous as his argument is, Hope has still managed to inspire some serious investors. To date, the Lunar Embassy has made more than $1.6 million. If you’re interested, plots go for as little as $30, but don’t spend all your money on moon land, mental_floss has some contacts with beautiful oceanfront lots in Arizona and we’d love to get you in on the ground floor.Powered by Sidelines