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Acre on Moon $19.99: But Can Space Estate Agent Promise an Earth View?

Image: Acre on Moon $19.99: But Can Space Estate Agent Promise an Earth View? A "supermoon" is seen behind the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Sunday, May 6, 2012.

Wednesday, 01 May 2013 01:35 PM

By Alexandra Ward

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A Nevada man who claims to have the exclusive property rights to heavenly bodies is selling an acre on the moon starting at just $19.99.

Dennis Hope of Gardnerville, Nev., was unemployed and going through a divorce in 1968 when he first thought of selling property on the moon and surrounding planets.

"I saw the moon," he told ABC News. "I thought, there's a lot of property up there."

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He consulted the governing document of outer space, the "Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, Including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies," known for short as the Outer Space Treaty, and consulted three different lawyers about his plan to assert developmental rights on the moon.

The treaty explicitly forbids any of Earth's nations from making territorial claims on other planets or heavenly bodies, but doesn’t address whether private companies can make claims.

With no challenges to his plan to develop the moon, Hope took advantage of the loophole in the international law and founded the Lunar Embassy Corp in 1980. He also decided to branch out and include the other planets as well. So far, he's only sold about 7.5 percent of the moon's property, or "600 million and 11 acres," he said. Some 325 million acres of Mars have already been sold.

Over 4 million people have reportedly bought their own piece of Earth's only satellite, including Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George Lucas, according to Yahoo.

More than 1,800 corporations and two leading U.S. hotel chains have reportedly made the biggest parcel purchases.

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In addition to peddling solar real estate, Hope has also drafted a lunar constitution and developed lunar currency, which he hopes to get into the International Monetary Fund.

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