From Adam Mann's article in Wired:
Full blown colonization and settlement of other planets, moons and even asteroids might actually happen, says space policy consultant Rand Simberg, if a government could provide one thing: property rights.
Parceling out plots of land on celestial bodies might encourage people to invest in these properties, and this would benefit Earth economically, according to Simberg. He proposes the Space Settlement Prize Act and lays out how such a scheme would work in a new paper published by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a libertarian think tank, on Apr. 2.
“The sooner we put policy in place and encourage this, the sooner it will happen,” Simberg said.
But Simberg doesn’t see this as a pressing matter. “There are people who believe that rocks have rights; I’m not one of them,” he said.