Orbital Development (http://www.orbdev.com) welcomes NASA's NEAR spacecraft upon the spacecraft's successful landing on the Asteroid Eros. Eros is owned by Orbital Development, says the company's founder, Gregory Nemitz. OrbDev has owned the property since Nemitz established a claim on March 3, 2000, and filed a Class D property claim with the Archimedes Institute.
"It is the wild frontier up there." says Nemitz. "Since there are no laws governing private property claims in Outer Space. the first claimant gets ownership of it." This concept may sound foreign to Americans, but precedents are well entrenched throughout history. "The Outer Space Treaty of 1967 prohibits National Governments from making property claims in space, so NASA and the NEAR project cannot make a superseding claim for Eros, based on NEAR's successful landing." says Nemitz.
Presently, in space advocacy groups, property rights in space is a hot topic. Several factions are promoting various property rights regimes. Nemitz says, "In the end, it doesn't matter who owns a space property first. A good example of this concept, is found in the history of the Internet address, Space.com. The first owner was a kid in New Mexico. A bunch of suits made the kid an offer, bought the property, and made Space.com in to what it is today."
According to their website, the The Archimedes Institute Claims Registry service has been established to lower the cost of doing business in space by helping to reduce the legal uncertainties associated with a wide variety of space activities. By providing an objective and public opportunity for individuals, corporations and other entities to register property claims, liens and judgments the Archimedes Institute is encouraging the formation of new, efficient and equitable legal standards for the sensible development of the high frontier.
The off-Earth property registry includes this information on Orbital Development's claim:
Name of Claimant: Gregory William Nemitz
Corporate or Other Affiliation: Orbital Development
Address: 8301-252 Mission Gorge Road, Santee, CA 92071 USA
E-mail: Send Email
Date: 03 Mar 2000
Class of Property Claim: D
Level of Control:
"Fee Simple" or "Outright Ownership, Free & Clear" and regard it as real property owned by Orbital Development of San Diego, California, USA.
Basis for Making Claim:
As an Near-Earth Asteroid, Eros is a potential resource base for construction materials and propellants. A recreational tourist facility will be built into the spaces cleared by mining.
Precise Description of Claim:
The entire asteroid, Eros. And a volume of space 50km in altitude into space from every point on the surface of the asteroid.