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Who owns Mars?

Planet MarsCan anyone claim the red planet or natural resources on asteroids? Business leaders and legal experts say the question has become more than philosophical as a growing number of firms, often backed by capital and technology from Silicon Valley, have set their sights on the resources of outer space asteroids and Mars. In order to avoid conflicts between competing companies and countries over outer space resources, more work needs to be done on Earth to determine who owns commodities taken from celestial bodies, analysts said. “There is a huge debate on whether companies can simply travel to space and extract its resources,” said Barry Kellman, a law professor who studies space governance at DePaul University in Chicago. “There is no way to answer the question until someone does it,” Kellman told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

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