Top 10 People Who Have Claimed Ownership Of Celestial Bodies

Adam Ismail, Mustafa Khalil, And Abdullah Al-Umari

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In 1997, three Yemeni men sued NASA for landing the Sojournor rover on Mars. The men, Adam Ismail, Mustafa Khalil, and Abdullah al-Umari, claimed to be descendants of the Himyarite and Sabaean tribes that lived in Arabia during the first millennium BC. They claimed their ancestors had seven temples for seven planets, including Mars, which they all assumed to be the intermediaries to their god.

The men further stated that they had the required paperwork to cement their claim of ownership of the Red Planet. They forwarded their lawsuit to the office of the national prosecutor of Yemen, but he denounced it and even threatened to send them to jail. The trio dropped the charges, but that did not stop them from selling land on Mars for $2 per square mile.

Phillip Davies

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In 2015, President Obama signed the US Space Act into law. The law allows US companies to keep whatever they mine from any celestial body as theirs. This act made people like Phillip Davies, a doctor from Hampshire, UK, believe we will soon experience the space version of a gold rush.

Dr. Phillip says the 1967 UN Space Treaty, which is supposed to guide the colonization of space and prevent its militarization as well as the ownership of celestial bodies, is outdated. So he claimed ownership of Mars to prevent some other person or country from claiming it.

To cement his claim to the Red Planet, Dr. Phillip shoots a laser at it, which he says is to warm the planet and improve its atmosphere and any life present there. He is also selling plots at one cent each. He has sold plots to 13,000 people so far, and most are people supporting his cause. Dr. Dennis plans to cede Mars to the United Nations once he has enough support.

Maria Angeles Duran

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Maria Angeles Duran is a Spanish woman who claims to own the Sun. She first claimed ownership of our parent star in 2010, after she realized Dennis Hope was making a fortune selling land on the Moon. In 2013, she opened an eBay account where she sold 1-square-meter (11 ft2) plots on the Sun for €1. Buyers got a certificate for their plot, but there was no mention of how they knew which part of the Sun their plot was located on.

eBay didn’t think someone could own plots of the Sun and banned Duran’s account for selling intangible goods. Duran disagreed. She got her lawyers and pressed charges against eBay. Her argument was that she could sell land on the Sun, a natural resource, if others could sell other natural resources like water and wind.

She also argues that the 1967 UN Space Treaty does not bar individuals from owning celestial bodies. The court didn’t examine whether or not the UN treaty barred people from claiming ownership of the Sun. Rather, it looked into whether Duran really breached eBay’s agreement by selling plots of the Sun.

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