On Thursday, April 5, the Competitive Enterprise Institute will host a Capitol Hill briefing to introduce a new study by Adjunct Scholar Rand Simberg: Homesteading the Final Frontier: A Practical Proposal for Securing Property Rights in Space. The right to claim, develop, and trade property and particularly real estate has been the driving force of human exploration throughout history. Currently, this right does not exist off planet, and its absence is discouraging real investment in space development. Rand Simberg argues that the U.S. should recognize off-planet land claims by private groups and individuals under certain conditions. The proposed Space Homesteading Act outlines appropriate conditions, including mandates that claimants offer land for sale and ensure commercial space transportation to settlements. Some scholars argue that the 1967 Outer Space Treaty and the 1979 Moon Treaty preclude any nation from recognizing private property claims in space. Simberg responds to these arguments in detail and makes his case for why the Outer Space Treaty does not in fact outlaw private property claims and why the U.S. should repudiate the Moon Treaty, to which it is not a signatory. Rand Simberg will present his study and answer audience questions at Thursday's Capitol Hill briefing. Also speaking at the briefing will be Iain Murray, Vice President for Strategy at CEI, and James E. Dunstan, Senior Adjunct Fellow at TechFreedom and an attorney specializing in space issues.
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