Rights in Space
Gregory W. Nemitz
esteemed colleagues have presented their opinions and theories on
potential private property regimes in space and their implications.
They call for the governments to debate and enact their proposals.
This is as it has been for more than a decade. The proposals do
not seem to advance further than these types of assemblies. I have
taken a more direct approach with my theories.
the last 10,000 years or so, civilization has been busy dividing
all of the Earth’s assets, by creating properties and rights. On
Earth, all things accessible are already property. In Space, resources
remain "things" and are not property at all, until originally
we sure that there is not sufficient law in the United States for
its people to proclaim original property in space and gain official
respect for a person’s right to own it? I strongly believe that
an individual can originate property, so I originated a claim for
Asteroid 433, Eros. The claim was published in a registry on March
you can see, there are millions of Asteroids in our solar system.
Near Shoemaker spacecraft has been parked on my property since 12
Feb 2001, so I have sent an invoice to NASA for $20 for the next
century’s parking/storage fees.
is extremely reasonable rent at twenty cents per year. I set the
rent low, to emphasize that government respect for my inalienable
personal right to originate a property claim for an un-owned thing
in space is the real issue.
Things in space are just that, things. There is no property until
someone makes an original claim. At the instant of the pronouncement
of the claim, the thing is transformed into property of one species
or another. Claims can be unperfected, but they are not invalid
because they may be unperfected.
by a natural person, that person’s pursuit of ownership of the thing,
and the infusion of work-equity into the thing, are all are very
long-standing specific legal norms that develop official respect
for individual claims and personal property rights.
old maxim "possession is 9/10ths of the law" is interesting
here. What is the other 10th of the Law? Since actual physical possession
is so difficult in space property, it is reasonable to look at what
creates original property in the lesser-known parts of the Law.
example of a historical precedent is available in the capture of
wild animals, as was done centuries ago. When a hunter is in pursuit
of a wild animal, the choice to pursue and the pursuit in itself
created a specie of property right. When the animal is wounded,
it creates another and higher specie of rights to the animal. This
is true because the hunter has infused work into the animal, by
the attempts to kill it or bring it under control. When the animal
is captured and in full control or when it is killed, the hunter
has perfected the property right to that animal.
here is the progression of the first tenth of property law:
The Claim converts the thing instantly into specie of property.
The pursuit of ownership increases the right to the property.
The infusion of work-equity, another specie of property right, increases
the first property right.
Valid and legal rights to the property have been created and reinforced,
before perfection or actual possession.
These activities create a very strong property right, before possession,
and this practice has been legally respected for many centuries.
If a judge were required to choose the property owner at this point,
who would be the owner? The person with the first claim and/or the
most work-equity. All original property rights are created before
possession by the originators’ intent to possess.
I do utilize 433 Eros in a virtual way, not requiring my physical
presence or actual possession of the asteroid. In my quest to perfect
my property right I use Eros and my plans’ perceived value to attract
resources, expert assistance, and to instigate the development of
My efforts that have been spent publicizing my claim, developing
and inaugurating a business plan for a parking lot for grounded
spacecraft, pursuing past-due accounts, and defending my claim are
infusions of work into my property, creating additional valuable
equity in my property right. Also infused into my property right
is the work of my many esteemed advisors, who have readily given
me their valuable time and thoughtfully considered opinions on methods
and tactics for defending my claim.
further the work-equity in 433 Eros, on 13 February 2001, I made
an addendum to my original claim for 433 Eros. I appropriated the
work-equity of the NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft into that prior claim.
I am not talking about the data returned. The work-equity is the
inherent knowledge that valuable materials are proved to exist on
Eros, which is just like a mining survey or patent. The survey is
a virtual and in-situ equity enhancement of the property. Previous
to this appropriation, NASA’s planetary spacecraft work-equity has
been abandoned or thrown-away and was not claimed.
our milieu, virtual equities are created and used every day. An
example is Internet addresses. They are completely virtual and many
“.coms” hold very large equities and value.
An Example for Clarity on this Issue:
Let us say a private venture spends $50 million to send a survey
spacecraft to an asteroid it claims. When the spacecraft returns
data about the asteroid, a work-equity is created in-situ as a virtual
thing. The venture has increased its property interest in its claim,
via the work-equity of the survey by the spacecraft. The infusion
of work has been recognized as a statutory method of perfection
of property claims on Earth, for a long time. In this example, the
value of the work-equity is $50 million.
When the US government, through its agency, NASA, sent the NEAR
Shoemaker spacecraft to my property, 433 Eros, on a survey mission,
a work-equity was created. The government it is prohibited from
claiming, owning, or being the sovereign of any property in Space,
so it is unable to direct the disposal of the in-situ work-equity.
The first claimant would be the owner.
infusion of over $225 million in work-equity should be far more
than enough to perfect the claim for Eros, regardless of how the
present owner has acquired that equity. In the $50M example, the
company that owned the spacecraft would likely have the expectation
that the survey would perfect the property right. By this standard,
my property rights to 433 Eros are already 100% perfected.
Another Example for Clarity
A person is walking down the street and drops a $20 bill into the
gutter. A short while later, I am the first to come along and see
it. Because I am the first, as soon as I see it and intend to pick
it up, it becomes my property, so long as there is no evidence found
of the identity of the unfortunate one. I could ‘do the right thing’
and report it to the police, who will hold the cash awaiting a person
to reclaim it. If no one comes looking for it, the police will return
the cash to me in recognition that it is my rightfully claimed property.
Shoemaker’s equity is very similar to the $20 bill example. Should
the $20 bill be left to rot or be claimed by another? No, of course
not. The same is true with the $225M equity left in-situ Eros by
the spacecraft. The first claimant of the un-owned thing, would
be the owner. The claimant was I, on 13 February 2001. In fact,
it is a waste of taxpayer funds if I do not make something useful
from it. Better me than nobody, as has always been in the past,
with spacecraft work-equity.
respect for my originating property claim for 433 Eros and my appropriation
of the spacecraft’s ‘thrown-away’ work-equity, is fully legal and
The Treaties claim to have a legal right to deny the establishment
of claims. These can be viewed as claims for the entire Universe,
and are claims made by some governments to prevent other governments,
from making claims. These are circular arguments, and as such may
be considered invalid by any individuals and countries that have
not signed the Treaties. I did not sign the Outer Space Treaty of
1967, or the Moon Treaty of 1979. The United States did not sign
the Moon Treaty.
OST of 1967 placed severe restrictions on States’ ability to make
sovereign and property claims in Space. Since a State may not make
claims, isn’t it reasonable to say that a confederation of States
also may not make claims of sovereignty or property? If so, the
UN has never originated any property in Space. All unclaimed things
in Space remain things until a private party originally claims them
Person appropriated the claim for 433 Eros, myself. The claim was
specifically not instituted on behalf of any nation. The OST of
1967 does not specifically address this situation of personal claims
by appropriation; it solely addresses national appropriations.
scope of my intentions in my claims is:
Complete Control in "fee simple" or "outright ownership,
free & clear" specifically not instituted on behalf of
any Nation and regard Eros as real personal property owned by Gregory
W. Nemitz, a Natural Person.
the treaty does not pertain to private claims, it is an invalid
postulate that an automatic national appropriation, based on citizenship,
is inherent or occurs with a private claim. If that were valid,
a private claim that specifically excludes such a connection is
completely exempt from such a postulate.
The logic of Constitutional law is easy to follow. For clarity,
I will abbreviate the Preamble:
We the people of the United States, . . . do ordain and establish
this Constitution for the United States of America.
1819 the Supreme Court held:
"the Court has read the preamble as bearing witness to the
fact that the Constitution emanated from the people and was not
the act of sovereign and independent States,"
you can easily see, the Power comes 'ordained' from the people.
This is a clear break with the previous “ordained” rule of law by
the Crown or Sovereign. History says a war was fought to settle
this sometime around 1780.
the United States, where Federal and the States’ laws are silent,
the people retain rights and powers. The Constitution does not mention
the topic of originating claims of private property in Space.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall
not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution,
nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively,
or to the people.
one of ‘the people’ and by these Rights and Powers, my originating
claims of private property ownership to 433 Eros are valid, because
they are not prohibited.
Constitution reserved rights and powers for the People, all those
that were not listed nor delegated to the province of the government.
Claiming original ownership of property in Space, was a right and
power reserved for the People, specifically because the activity
was not delegated as a power of the Federal government. The Federal
government is definitely not sovereign in these affairs.
mention of any type of property origination is specifically mentioned
in the Constitution, so all property origination is reserved for
the States respectively or by the People. In common law countries
such as the United States, the law dictates that the government
must have sovereignty over territory before it can confer title
on its citizens.
US federal government cannot 'confer' anything in this case. It
is not sovereign in matters of Space property origination. The People
are unconstrained in these matters because the federal government
does not have the power to do anything about property in Space,
as no such power was specifically delegated to the Federal government
by the Constitution.
basis in Law does the Federal Government have to refuse to respect
its people’s rights to originate property claims in space? "The
people" retain rights and powers in this instance that are
above the scope of federal law.
All my claims are justifiable under the "reasonable man"
standard of the Law. I have made a rightful claim for an un-owned
thing. I am engaged in a pursuit to perfect that claim. I have infused
my work-equity and the work of others into the claim. In addition,
I have personally appropriated the work-equity of the NEAR Shoemaker
spacecraft into my claim, which was a $225,000,000 work-equity that
was ‘thrown-away’ or abandoned by the US government and NASA, and
thus was available for individual appropriation. By these completely
legal and appropriate actions, I do hold the full equity of the
property 433 Eros. Official respect of the true situation, is the
next step of my Eros Project development plan.
Charles Lindbergh said:
important thing is to start:
to lay a plan, and then to follow it step by step,
no matter how small or large each one by itself may seem."
Developing the resources of Eros requires a step-by-step plan. One
of the earliest steps is gaining official respect of my property
right, so OrbDev may encumber the property with a multi-billion
dollar developmental mortgage.
three purposes in mind when I sent my $20 invoice for a storage
fee to NASA. To advance the space property rights discussion into
government so that the issue is fairly heard and acted upon. To
gain official respect of my existing right to the equity of Asteroid
433, Eros. And to get my $20 from NASA.
my claims can be viewed as unperfected, they cannot be invalid for
being imperfect. The claims exist, my full property rights remain
valid, and my claims are absolutely not premature nor inappropriate.
If there is a lack of clarity in the law, that is not a just reason
to delay respect for my claims, considering the long-standing legal
principles on Earth.
my claim is prior to any other claim and is infused with the equity
of my work, the work of others, and the in-situ mineral survey,
the claim has a higher standing than any other that can possibly
be brought forth any time soon. The only legal method to usurp my
claims is the physical occupation of Asteroid 433, Eros by a human
mine is the highest right existing to 433 Eros and in all reasonableness,
my rights and full equity ownership ought to be respected so that
OrbDev may proceed with funding its development plans. Immediate
respect of these facts by the government, can endorse legal access
to financial instruments that will fund the development of this
property and jump-start the space resource industry.
reality of the situation is that human occupation of Eros in the
next 50 years is highly unlikely, unless OrbDev makes that happen.
With an assumption of perfection of these property rights to Eros
today, the resources from Eros can be brought to market during our
lifetime. Why should we wait for our great-grandchildren to do this,
when it can be done now?
sure you all are aware that there are a lot of asteroids out there.
This first defended claim to an asteroid, for a rock that is not
the ideal candidate for development, is a claim that can open the
door to developing the resources in Space. Why there is so much
opposition to this is difficult to understand. I have studied property
law and have made very reasonable claims based on my understandings.
officially respecting my claim to 433 Eros, the US government will
be upholding the very foundation of government by the consent of
the governed. In principle, the very foundation of the representative
form of government resides in the social contract among those governed,
which allows their government to protect their individual and property
rights. If any government or Treaty to which governments adhere
makes private ownership of private property in space illegal, they've
lost their legitimate footing to be a government of, for, and by
the people who view Space as a Frontier.