Richard Garriott asserts claim over lunar land

Call him Lord Lunar. Not content with his sovereignty over the nonexistent kingdom of Britannia, game designer and space traveler Richard Garriott is now claiming dominion over a small area of the moon. At a 1993 auction, Garriott purchased the rights to a Russian rover that was, at the time, lost on the moon. Last week, it was spotted again, and the Portalarium founder is using that as the basis for his land grab. " I'm the only private individual with a flag or stake on the soil of the Moon," Garriott told Metro, "and, thus, at the least I might be able to make some claim to the land beneath it, if not even more territory."

Speaking to Space.com, Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz, Director of the National Center for Remote Sensing, Air and Space Law denied Garriott's half-joking assertion. "The USSR was and Russia is a party to the Outer Space Treaty," she said. "It did not acquire the territory under the object when it landed. One cannot sell what one does not own. Since USSR/Russia did not have a property right to the territory under the landed object, there was nothing to sell." Garriott's just going to have to be satisfied with being the only private owner of an object on the moon, which, luckily, is completely awesome.

[Via Evil Avatar Forums]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.