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The establishment of a Mars colony would take our species to an entirely new level of potential. It would also raise many issues, including about the long-term legal status of the settlement and its inhabitants.
The 1967 Outer Space Treaty, which has been ratified by the United States and more than 100 other nations, stipulates that "celestial bodies" are "not subject to national appropriation." The fact that this prohibition is directed at nations rather than corporations such as SpaceX was not an oversight. Corporations exist by virtue of being incorporated under a national legal system. Their vessels — whether ships, airplanes or spacecraft — are registered under those laws and operate as extensions of national territory when they venture abroad. The East India and Hudson's Bay companies governed vast territories from the 17th to 19th centuries, but they did so under British royal charter and not as independent sovereigns.
However, the drafters of the Outer Space Treaty did overlook the mid-20th-century development of international human rights law and, most significantly, the principle of self-determination. Most Mars settlers will never return to Earth. Their children and grandchildren will be born on Mars and might, as the colony expands, wish to govern themselves.
originally posted by: Aliensun
a reply to: annalisa2016
What about the fact that a payload capability of a returnable must suffer drastically when the rocket must also carry itself and fuel for the return.