reply to post by jtb2008
Actually it's not stupid (nor is it capitalism). Mr. Nemitz is not trying to make money from this "Experimental Lawsuit"
(he's only asking
for $20 in rent, plus about $1100 in other expenses), but he is trying to make a point about private ownership, and the way existing laws are
Of course I'm not so jaded as to think Nemitz isn't hoping to eventually cash in on Eros. Nemitz (and the OrbDev Company) is hoping to eventually
make a lot of money from Eros, but not directly through this lawsuit
. Although he obviously is doing this to help validate his claim to Eros
for his own future monetary gain.
But I see it as more than that...
The outcome of this lawsuit could help tighten up and define the question of ownership of celestial objects -- since someday, someone WILL land on an
asteroid and claim it as their own. Who will decide who gets to profit from the Moon's or an Asteroid's resources?
This is not a silly question. If someone is allowed to own a a piece of land on Earth and make money from that land's resources, then why wouldn't
those same laws of ownership apply to an asteroid? Back before the land in the United States was actually "owned" by anyone, people used the
"Homestead Principle" to lay claim to previously unclaimed plots of land and the land's resources. Does the Homestead Principle apply to Eros?
Nobody seems to have a good answer to that question, thus the lawsuit.
Nemitz claims ownership of Eros through the Homestaed Principle, and claims the U.S. government is NOT allowed to own the asteroid under the
'Outer Space Treaty'
(of which the U.S. is a part). So if he owns it and the U.S. doesn't, then they should pay him rent for parking the
NEAR spacecraft there.
By bringing this lawsuit, this may force governments to tighten the laws and treaties concerning ownership of celestial objects. This lawsuit proves
that these laws and treaties certainly need some re-working.
Here's a wikipedia article about the Homestead Principle, the law by which Nemitz is claiming ownership of Eros. There is a paragraph about this
The Homestead Principle
[edit on 11/29/2007 by Soylent Green Is People]