A man from Ajmer named Dharmendra Anija has achieved a unique feat by gifting three acres of land on the moon to his wife Sapna Anija for their wedding anniversary. According to the reports, Dharmendra gifted her wife a piece of land on the moon as he wanted to do something special for his wife on their eighth wedding anniversary.
“It was our wedding anniversary on December 24. I wanted to do something special for her. Everyone gifts earthly possessions like cars and jewellery, but I wanted to do something different. Therefore, I purchased land on the moon for her,” he said.
Reportedly, Dharmendra bought the land through Luna Society International, a firm in New York City, USA. He said the entire process to buy the land took about a year to complete. He said he was happy to buy the plot. ‘I think I am the first man in Rajasthan to buy land on the Moon’, he added.
Wife says she is happy to receive ‘out of the world’ gift from her husband
Dharmendra’s wife Sapna said she never expected to receive such a special “out of the world” gift from her husband.
“I’m extremely happy. I never expected he would gift me something so special. The party was organised by professional event organisers, and the setting was surreal. It felt like we are literally on the moon. There during the ceremony, he gifted me a framed certificate of the property document,” said Sapna.
The land purchase at the moon by Anijas comes after Neeraj Kumar, a resident of Bodh Gaya, also purchased one-acre land on the moon on his birthday. Kumar bought land at the moon, inspired by actors Shahrukh Khan and late Sushant Singh Rajput.
Can one buy land on Moon?
The selling and buying of land on the moon is bound by the laws of ‘Outer Space Treaty’, signed in 1967 between the Soviet Union, the United States and the United Kingdom. It is illegal to sell lunar land to anyone, according to the treaty. The international treaty, signed by 109 other countries, including India has to uphold provisions under the treaty.
As per the Treaty, “outer space is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means”. This prevents any treaty member countries from using outer space in any business activities. However, there is a debate on whether or not the treaty’s prohibition are also valid as far as private appropriation is concerned.
Hence the question arises, how did the likes of Anijas or Kumars, even for that matter Shahrukh Khan and the late Sushant Singh Rajput bought the land on the moon.
These above buyers bought their land through agencies such as US-based portal called Lunar Land Registry or Luna Society International. These portals assure people to sell them a piece of Lunar land.
If any people intend to buy land on the moon, they will be claiming the property in compliance with Title IV of the Space Resource Exploration and Utilization Bill of 2015, Section 402 in the USA. The bill states, “A U.S. citizen engaged in commercial recovery of an asteroid resource or a space resource shall be entitled to any asteroid resource or space resource obtained, including to possess, own, transport, use, and sell it according to applicable law, including U.S. international obligations“.
Reportedly, the non-US citizens can possess Lunar property and resources by contracting a proxy (agent) with US citizenship or commercial rights. However, this bill was never passed in the US parliament.
As far as today, it is illegal to buy land on the moon as per the International treaty. The treaty only allows states to carry out projects on all forms of outer space exploration, including lunar exploration, that would only be for the benefit of all mankind. It also explicitly states that no individual can purchase a piece of lunar land and call it his or her own.
This means agencies such as Lunar Land Registry, Luna Society International, buying land for private ownership of the moon on behalf of other people is impossible and illegal. The ownership certificates they provide only act as souvenirs.