[FPSPACE] Space: The Final [Archaeological] Frontier

DwayneDay zirconic1 at earthlink.net
Sat Oct 30 17:31:41 EDT 2004

-----Original Message-----
From: Keith Gottschalk <kgottschalk at uwc.ac.za>

>The Titanic treasure vultures proves that it is certainly necessary to protect Apollos & Lunakhods from future free marketeers making a profit from the Moon.* 

Actually, this is not really necessary, as long as current Earth law and agreements remain in effect that long into the future.

International agreements stipulate that government ships, aircraft and spacecraft remain the possessions of the government that operated them when they were lost.  You cannot go to, say, a US Navy or Soviet wreck and remove objects or salvage the vehicle without getting into a lot of legal trouble with the owners, assuming that they want to assert authority.  And you can be sure that in the American case, they _will_ assert authority.  (I'll omit a long, detailed anecdotal account.  However, in order to preserve this right, the US government will actually bend over backwards to defend the rights of _other_ nations.  A Spanish galleon discovered in American territorial waters was determined by US courts to be the property of Spain, even though it has been on the ocean floor for 300+ years.)

Now it would be possible for the Russians to sell salvage rights to their vehicles or equipment, or to simply allow them to be pillaged.  But that's theoretical and I imagine they would have some serious debate before they allowed this to happen.

Titanic was a private vessel.  Big difference.


More information about the FPSPACE mailing list