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Comment Re:The law is ridiculous anyway (Score 2) 211

It takes more than just flag-planting to make a territorial claim. A nation has to be able to demonstrate some sort of permanent control of the territory, usually in the form of colonization or economic exploitation. That's like trying to say that we need to ask the Danish, Norwegians and Swedes if Canadians can live in Newfoundland.

Before any nation can make claim to any extraterrestrial territory, it's going to have to be able to actually hold that territory, and we're still decades away from that.

Comment Re:The treaty says no such thing. (Score 4, Insightful) 211

And when we get to that point, we'll worry about it. Heck, various nations claim chunks of Antarctica, in one way or another, and thus far it's been meaningless flag planting.

But when we do get to the point where we can mine other bodies in the solar system, we'll have to come up with some sort of system of claims. The UN isn't going to be mining, it's going to be commercial and state players doing the mining, and we'll have to come up with a new treaty that will inevitably recognize the rights of those players to make what amount to territorial claims.

Probably the biggest concern, in my view, is privately-owned entities making claims independent of any national or international body.

"No, no, I don't mind being called the smartest man in the world. I just wish it wasn't this one." -- Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, WATCHMEN