Getting the perfect gift for your loved one can be a tough call. But a man from Rajasthan seems to have found the most "heavenly" gift possible for the woman he loves - a slice of land on the moon.
To celebrate his eighth wedding anniversary, Ajmer resident Dharmendra Anija has reportedly bought 3 acres of land on the moon as a gift for his wife Sapna Anija
Speaking to news agency ANI, Dharmendra said "I wanted to do something special for her. Everyone gifts earthly possessions like cars and jewelry, but I wanted to do something different. Therefore, I purchased land on the moon for her."
The couple, who celebrated their wedding anniversary on December 24, seemed "over the moon", so to speak, after the lunar acquisition.
"I am extremely happy. I never expected he would gift me something so special. It felt like we are literally on the moon," Sapna tells ANI. The woman revealed that her husband has gifted her a certificate that said that she owned land on the moon.
[q]But is it really possible to buy land on the moon?[/q]
[ans]We did a little snooping and here's the verdict: It's not. A look at the Outer Space Treaty immediately negates any such claims made by people or institutions as one can't actually buy property on the moon, according to the treaty.[/ans]
[q]What is the Outer Space Treaty?[/q]
[ans]Buying land on the moon is illegal as per the Outer Space Treaty, which was designed by the Soviet Union and the United States at the height of the cold war in 1967 to prevent an imminent space colonization race and it has since been signed by 109 nations, including India.
As per the Treaty, "outer space is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means."[/ans]
[q]Does anyone own land on the moon?[/q]
[ans]Despite the Outer Space Treaty, people have time and again been reported to buy land on the moon. Celebrities including Sushant Singh Rajput, Shah Rukh Khan, and others such as a Pakistani couple allegedly own lunar land.
Rajput reportedly bought it in 2018 from the International Lunar Lands Registry. Khan had claimed in an interview that a fan gifted him a piece of land on the moon every year on his birthday. Inspired by the actors, a Pakistani man also gifted his wife a piece of land on the moon from the International Lunar Lands Registry for merely $45 (Rs 3,200 approximately). Both his and Rajput's plots are allegedly located in a region of the moon called 'Sea of Muscovy'. [/ans]
[q]So how are people buying land on the moon?[/q]
[ans]So, the question arises, how are these people from earth buying pieces of lunar land? The catch might be in a loophole in the Treaty which has been used to counter the rules in the treaty. The language in the Treaty is specific to national ownership and as a result, there has been no legal consensus on whether or not the prohibition extends to private companies or individuals.[/ans]
[q]Is it legal to buy land on the moon?[/q]
[ans]The answer is still no. It is not legal to buy land on the moon as the Outer Space Treaty prohibits all forms of outer space exploration that is not explicitly intended for public benefit, and not individual, institutional, or sovereign profiteering.
Despite its precarious wording, the Treaty clearly implies that no sale or purchase of celestial properties including lunar land is possible. And organizations such as the Lunar Lands Registry may or may not stand their case in a court of law when it came to being brokers for lunar real estate.[/ans]