Aiming for the moon? You can get a piece of it
China may be years away from a lunar landing but one company is offering a piece of "land" there right now.
The so-called Lunar Embassy, through which one can purchase an acre on the moon for 298 yuan (US$37), started operations yesterday in Beijing.
Li Jie, chief executive officer of Beijing Lunar Village Aeronautics Science Co Ltd, said his company is the sole agent in China for US-based Lunar Embassy.
The area? Between 20 and 24 degrees latitude north and 30 to 34 degrees longitude west, the company says.
Lunar Embassy will issue customers a "certificate" that ensures property ownership including rights to use the land and minerals up to 3 kilometres underground
"We define it as a kind of novelty gift with the potential of unlimited increase in value," said Li, who was nominated as the agent in China by Dennis Hope, a US entrepreneur who founded the first extraterrestrial estate agency Lunar Embassy in 1980.
Hope thinks a loophole in the 1967 UN Outer Space Treaty makes his property sales legitimate. The agreement forbids governments from owning extraterrestrial property, but fails to mention corporations or individuals.