Institute Library

Astronaut McDivitt
image credit: NASA
  Welcome to the library at The Space Settlement Institute. The purpose of this collection is to provide useful materials for those conducting space property rights research or who want to learn more about political, legal, and technical issues involved.

The articles below are important reading for anyone who recognizes that a sufficiently large economic incentive for private industry to develop and permanently settle the Moon and Mars does not currently exist. The answer to what that incentive could be may lie in the value of the Lunar and Mars land itself. (For articles written by non-Institute personnel, permission to post was obtained from the authors when possible.)

Note: Many of these articles are saved in .pdf format. To view them, PDF software such as the free Adobe Reader must be installed on your computer.

Homesteading the Final Frontier
A Practical Proposal for Securing Property Rights in Space
by Rand Simberg
Competitive Enterprise Institute
April 2012
(See feature page for more info)

Unpopular Truths About Space Settlement
by Alan Wasser
The Space Review
September 26, 2016
Online version, includes Comments thread  

Final Report for Self-Financed, Self-Developed and Self-Supporting Profitable Lunar Colony
A Phase I Steckler Project - NASA Contract No. NNX10AC64A
Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium & Orbital Technologies Corporation (Orbitec)
See in particular -
Appendix A: The Space Settlement Initiative (pp.61-81)
Appendix B: Space Homestead Act (pp.82-85)
30 September 2010
Note: 10MB pdf file

Space Property Rights: Alan Wasser Interview
by Colin Doughan
The Space Business Blog, published in Santa Maria, California.
May 09, 2010

For Sale: Moon and Mars
by John Tierney
The New York Times
Online Version   (TierneyLab - August 29, 2008)
Print Version (pg. D8, Science Times section - September 2, 2008)

Space Settlements, Property Rights, and International Law: Could a Lunar Settlement Claim the Lunar Real Estate It Needs to Survive?
by Alan Wasser and Douglas Jobes
The Journal of Air Law & Commerce, published by Southern Methodist University's Dedman Law School, in Dallas, Texas
Volume 73, Issue #1 - Winter 2008

The International Space Treaty Regime in the Globalization Era
by Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz, Professor of Law and Director of the National Remote Sensing and Space Law Center (
Ad Astra, The Magazine of the National Space Society (NSS)
Fall 2005

LBJ's Space Race: What We Didn't Know Then (Few people today realize or remember, but a single man, Lyndon Baines Johnson, "LBJ", is primarily responsible for both starting and ending "The Space Race".)
Online version:
 LBJ's Space Race: What We Didn't Know Then (Part 1)  
 LBJ's Space Race: What We Didn't Know Then (Part 2)  
by Alan Wasser
The Space Review
June 2005

Lunar Land Claims Recognition: Designing the Ultimate Incentive for Space Infrastructure Development
by Douglas O. Jobes
Space Times, The Magazine of the American Astronautical Society (AAS)
Issue 3, Volume 44 - May/June 2005

Transporting a Legal System for Property Rights from the Earth to the Stars
by Rosanna Sattler, Esq.
Posternak, Blankstein & Lund LLP
University of Chicago International Law Review
Summer 2005

The New Frontier: Preparing the Law for Settling on Mars  
by Dave Kopel and Glenn Reynolds
The National Review Online
June 4, 2002

Get Back! How to Make Privately Funded Space Settlement Possible
by Alan Wasser
The Quarterly Journal of the Space Frontier Foundation
June 2000

Ownership of the Moon and Mars? The "land-grant" act
as means of stimulating human settlement of celestial bodies

by R.F. van Ballegoyen, LL.M.
Ad Astra
The Magazine of the National Space Society
January/February 2000

Real Property Rights in Outer Space
by Wayne N. White, Jr.
Space Law
40th Colloquium on the Law of Outer Space

Space Property Rights: An Activist's Approach
by Glen H. Reynolds
Ad Astra
September/October 1998

A Moon With a View: Some Thoughts on Lunar Colonization
by Alan Wasser
The Explorers Journal
The Official Quarterly of the Explorers Club
Spring 1998

Staking Claims in Space
by Alan Wasser
Published by The Times Journal Co.
April 13-19, 1998

The Law That Could Make Privately Funded Space Settlement Profitable
by Alan Wasser
Space Governance
The Journal of the United Societies in Space & The World-Space Bar Association
January 1998

Space Resources, Common Property, and the Collective Action Problem
by Robert P. Merges and Glenn H. Reynolds
Symposium on the Environmental Law Aspects of Space Exploration Development
New York University Environmental Law Journal
Volume 6, 1997

A New Law Could Make Privately Funded Space Settlement Profitable
by Alan Wasser
Ad Astra
July/August 1997

How We Could Make Space Settlement Profitable
by Alan Wasser
Space Times
Magazine of the American Astronautical Society
March/April 1997

Bova's 'Moonrise' and 'Mt. Wasser'
by Jeffrey Liss
January 1997

Staking a Claim on the Moon and Mars: Property Rights in Outer Space
by Alan Wasser
Space Views
Monthly Publication of the Boston Chapter of the National Space Society
January 1997

Land Grants as an Incentive for Space Development
by Alan Wasser
Spacecause News
Winter 1996/1997

Moon for Sale-?
by Alan Wasser
Space Front
Fall 1996

Letter to the Editor: Carroll's Moon Base Painting Illustrates "Power Tower"
by David S. Millman
Ad Astra
March/April 1996

The Most Valuable Real Estate Off Earth
by Alan Wasser
associated link: Lunar South Pole.gif (high res image)
Ad Astra
May/June 1995

Interview with George Reedy, Press Secretary for LBJ
recorded by John Logsdon
Legislative Origins of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, pp 8-12
NASA Document
Interview May 20, 1992

Open Lunar Era with Land Grants
by Alan Wasser
June 24 - July 11, 1991

Power Tower
by Alan Wasser
associated link: Land of the Midnight Sun -
the Illustration that Inspired "Power Tower"

Ad Astra
October 1990

15 Million Square Miles, Earth Vu: Would Europeans have settled America yet if no one could claim the land they settled on?
by Alan Wasser
Space Frontier News
Premier Issue, Vol 1 Issue 1
August 1988

National Space Society Airs '67 Outer Space Treaty Reservations
by Alan Wasser
Space Daily
Daily Publication of the Space Age Publishing Company
February 5, 1988

23 Million Square Miles, Earth View
by Alan Wasser
February 1988

Interpreting Article II of the Outer Space Treaty
by Prof. Stephen Gorove (deceased)
Fordham Law Review
1969, Vol 37, pp 349-354

Space Goals After the Lunar Landing
Including Cover Memo
by Assistant Secretary of State Henry Owen
Declassified State Department Document
October 1966, pp 1-30

Negotiations with the Soviets on the Legal Problems of Outer Space
US Delegation Position Paper
(Selected Pages, including Introduction)
"This paper deals with the Soviet draft declaration of general principles tabled at the Legal Subcommittee meeting... as amended by the recent Soviet memorandum... and the US memorandum of July 26, 1963."
Declassified State Department Document
September 23, 1963

Every revolutionary idea passes three stages:
  1. It's impossible.
  2. It's possible but not worth doing.
  3. I said it was a good idea all along.
- Arthur C. Clarke
Report: Homesteading the Final Frontier

Report: Homesteading the Final Frontier

International Law: Contemporary Issues and Future Developments

International Law

Journal of Air Law & Commerce

Popular Science

Return to the Moon

More Publications