Eros Project

Complaint for Declaratory Judgement
The Eros Project finally proceeds into the United States District Court, District of Nevada. On November 6, 2003, Mr. Gregory W. Nemitz filed documents in Federal Court to demand a determination of his Rights in relation to his property claim for Asteroid 433, Eros. A jury will decide the case.

U.S. Department of State Responds
On August 15, 2003 the United States Department of State responds to the Eros Project and its claims. This official action creates a "case in actual controversy" which
gives a Federal Court jurisdiction to hear the case.

NASA Makes its Final Determination
On January 21, 2003 NASA sends its final determination to OrbDev's invoice for Parking and Storage Fees for the NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft, permanently parked on Eros.

Eros Project Links

Details of the Project
»  Project Overview
»  Selected Images

»  Parking and Storage Facility
»  MetroCircus - A City for Eros
»  Eros Facts and Estimated Value
»  Space Property Rights Explained
»  Eros Project Home Page
»  Eros in the News

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The Eros Project

"With this toehold, I will climb a mountain in Space."

Legal Actions

Orbital Development is managing the Eros Project for Mr. Gregory W. Nemitz, Owner of Asteroid 433, Eros.

The entire legal premise of the Eros Project is solidly based upon the natural inherent rights of man, common law recognition of private property ownership and Rights protected by the United States of America Constitution. Nemitz has made a Lawful Claim, with attached legal and equitable claims. He is the Owner of Asteroid 433, Eros.

Nemitz officially published his Claim to Asteroid 433, Eros about 11 months prior to NASA landing its "NEAR Shoemaker" spacecraft on the property. The Claim was recorded and published by the "Archimedes Institute", a not-for-profit organization. In addition to this Lawful Claim, he later filed official documents with the California Secretary of State under the Uniform Commercial Code to establish attached Legal and Equitable claims.

Within a few days of the NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft landing on his property, Nemitz sent a very reasonable invoice to NASA for parking and storage fees. The bill for payment of twenty dollars, was for rent of twenty cents per year, payable in one-century installments. The spacecraft is permanently parked on Eros, it cannot remove itself with its own propulsion system. It will remain there until a human (or his robot) removes it.

Citing their faulty interpretation of the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, NASA refused to pay the fees required by Nemitz. Several letters were exchanged between Orbital Development and NASA's head lawyer, the office of their General Counsel. In finality, NASA's lawyer stated, "Your individual claim of appropriation of a celestial body (the asteroid 433 Eros) appears to have no foundation in law."

Thus exhausting all possibility of "administrative remedy" at NASA, the path was clear to bring the issue to the United States Department of State for a final opinion from the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government. Also citing a faulty interpretation of the OST of 1967, the Department of State's official reply was, "... we have concluded that your claim is without legal basis."

This final conclusion by the Executive Branch's offices, established a critical requirement for presenting the matter before a Federal Court. The issue now is inarguably, "a case in actual controversy," between Plaintiff, Gregory W. Nemitz, and the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government. A Federal Court has gained jurisdiction and venue to hear the case to make its official determination concerning Plaintiff's Rights.

November 06, 2003 -- the case was submitted to the Judiciary for Review and Remedy. A Federal jury trial was demanded by the Plaintiff to decide this matter of Property Rights in Space and to establish a first precedent in "Space Property Law". U.S. District Judge Howard McKibben has been assigned to the action.

December 23, 2003 The US attorney's office in Reno filed a motion to receive a 30-day extension of time to prepare the Response to the Complaint for Declaratory Judgement. The motion cited that the holiday season had made it difficult for the US Attorney to respond before the mandated 60-day response time expired.

December 30, 2003 -- United States District Judge Howard McKibben ordered the extension and that Order was filed with the Clerk of the Court on December 31, 2003, making February 4, 2004 the new deadline for the US Attorney's Response. Due to the holidays, Mr. Nemitz did not actually recieve notification of the pending Motion until after it was Ordered by the Judge.

January 2, 2004 -- Plaintiff's response was sent by fax and US Mail via a letter of "Special Response" indicating that there was no objection to the 30-day time extension.

January 28, 2004 -- The US Attorney's office filed Defendant's Motion to Dismiss contending that the Plaintiff had not stated suffcient material facts to support his arguments. See MtD Index for links to the complete filing.

February 11, 2004 -- Nemitz filed his Response to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss (see MtD Index) conceeding that his claim for "breach of implied contract" was insuffcient to be sustained. This means that the US government will not have to pay the Eros Project's parking and storage fee of $20 and the associated late fees totaling nearly $1100. Plaintiff contends in the Response that his demand for a Declaratory Judgement concerning the Rights of individuals to own private proprty in Space vs. the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, remains viable in this Action at Law and must be decided by the Court. An Oral Hearing on the matter of the Motion to Dismiss was requested by Plaintiff.

February 20, 2004 -- The US Attorney's office filed a Motion to Extend Time for Filing a Reply to Plaintiff's Response. The Motion requested 12 extra days, bringing the total delay required by the US Attorney's office to nearly six weeks. Responding to the US Attorney's email communications, Nemitz objected to the additional delay request, however he did not file any objection with the Court.

March 8, 2004 -- The US Attorney's office filed Defendant's Reply Memorandum in Further Support of Motion to Dismiss (see MtD Index). The matter goes into Judge McKibben's chambers for his study and decision on the requested Oral Hearing, or his decision on the Motion to Dismiss itself.

When the Court officially respects Nemitz's claim to 433 Eros, the U.S. government will be upholding the very foundation of the purpose of any government by the consent of the governed.

As basic principle, the very foundation of all government action resides in the social contract among those governed, which allows their government officials to act towards protecting individual and property rights. If any government, or Treaty to which a government adheres, rules that private ownership of private property in space unlawful, they will have lost all their legitimate footing to be a government of, for, and by the people who view Space as a Frontier.

The Letters

A list of links to see the transmitals:

OrbDev, Owner of the Asteroid Eros, Welcomes NASA's NEAR Shoemaker Spacecraft's successful landing on Eros.

OrbDev’s Invoice Letter to NASA for Parking/Storage Fees on 433 Eros.

NASA’s Response to OrbDev’s Invoice.

OrbDev’s Reply to NASA’s response. OrbDev's reply includes a detailed rationale of why and how Orbital Development owns 433 Eros and how OrbDev has the right to invoice NASA for parking/storage fees.

NASA’s Second Response to OrbDev's invoice.

OrbDev's Reply to NASA's Second Response.

NASA’s Third Response to OrbDev's invoice.

OrbDev's Reply to NASA's Third Response.

NASA’s Fourth Response to OrbDev's invoice.

PRESS RELEASE: US Department of State Response to OrbDev's Claim.

The Complaint for Declaratory Judgement as filed with the Court.

I picked up a pebble on the beach in front of the Stars,
How can it not be mine?
Just see how many pebbles there are for you

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----- The Eros Project
Orbital Development is at the forefront of the critical issue of "Property Rights in Space." Since March, 2000 the firm has managed the "Eros Project" which is designed to bring the issue into a United States of America Federal Court for a difinitive decision on the new legal subject of "Space Property Law."

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The Eros Project is primarily sponsored by You can support this critial legal work in progress by trying some delicious "Final Frontier Jerky" from This is the beef jerky that is selected by Astronauts and has flown to Space many times.

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