Apollo 17 mission Commander Eugene Cernan checks out the lunar roving vehicle (LRV) at the Taurus-Littrow landing site in December 1972. LRVs, also called moon buggies, are electric vehicles designed to expand astronauts' range of exploration on the low-gravity surface of the moon. The east end of the moon's South Massif rises in the background at right.
Who Owns the Moon? The Galactic Government vs. the UN
Forty years after Apollo 11, debate rages over who can control the moon. Meanwhile, the president of the "Galactic Government," a Nevada entrepreneur, continues to sell lunar real estate.
On July 20, 1969, astronauts stepped onto the moon and planted an American flag—not to claim the moon but simply to commemorate the U.S. role in the first moon landing.
Forty years later a Nevada entrepreneur says he owns the moon and that he's interim president of the first known galactic government.
Dennis Hope, head of the Lunar Embassy Corporation, has sold real estate on the moon and other planets to about 3.7 million people so far.
As his customer base grew, he said, buyers wanted assurances that their property rights would be protected.
So Hope started his own government in 2004, which has a ratified constitution, a congress, a unit of currency—even a patent office.
"We're now a fully realized sovereign