When can a person or country stake claim to land on another planet? At what legal point can a country declare we own this land in the name of whom so ever?

  • 3
    The short answer is when you can defend your claim. Generally that would need the presence of an army or availability of an army. By treaty Antarctica facilities are abandoned as soon as the nation no longer occupies the facility. Dec 8, 2018 at 20:59
  • @Wayne good answer
    – Muze
    Dec 8, 2018 at 21:01

1 Answer 1


Currently it is not supposed to be done in space. There's a UN Resolution titled Declaration of Legal Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space which was adopted unanimously in 1962 which includes this statement:

Outer space and celestial bodies are not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means.

Consider also the Antarctic Treaty System, which states that no new territorial claims in the Antarctic may be established while the treaty is in force. There remain some disputes in the Arctic however, for example a somewhat whimsical one over Hans Island.

  • 2
    Technically this does not bar persons. The resolution dates back to an era when access to space was limited to just a few states.
    – MSalters
    Dec 10, 2018 at 13:30
  • 1
    I'd say the intent was there to cover non-governmental space exploration as well, that's embedded in principal #5 which makes states responsible for supervising even if privately funded.. Dec 10, 2018 at 16:36

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .