Meet the Man Who Owns the Moon

A loophole in a United Nations charter has allowed Dennis Hope to sell plots on the moon for more than 30 years.

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The water on Earth came from a big collision with the moon, but that's not why the moon is now dry.

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"When China announced they planned to be on the moon by 2012, we wrote a letter to their president saying we didn't have a problem with it as long as they had a licensing agreement with us. Otherwise, their craft would not reach the moon," Hope says.

He wouldn't say how he planned to stop a country or person from going to the moon.

"We currently can stop any craft we want to from going to our properties," he says. "We have no problem with exploration, but as for anyone building anything of permanence, they don't own the land. That would be like Canada coming down to the United States and building a facility without asking permission. The response from the government would be irate—we would be the same if someone tried to build on the moon."

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While he doesn't support others mining the moon, he does realize the historical importance of it. He's set up 23 "celestial reserves" on the moon, including the Apollo missions' landing sites and the two polar regions, where much of the moon's water is stored. In 2011, a group attempted to buy the moon's north pole from him for $50 million, but he declined the offer, he says.

"I verified that they had the money to do it, but we want to make sure people have what is needed for living at an inexpensive price," he says.

"Lunarcy!" has been screened at several prominent festivals, including the Toronto International Film Festival and South By Southwest. It'll be aired for the first time to a wider audience on Epix on April 3. Since the documentary was finished, Hope says sales of lunar plots have increased by about 30 percent.

He says the time is quickly approaching when those owners will be able to take advantage of their land. The Galactic Government is exploring building a pyramid-shaped moon city that would have a roughly two mile by two mile base. He hopes to be the first private citizen to fly there.

"I'm a private pilot, so I'd love to be able to fly the first craft there," he says. "As the elected president of the Galactic Government, one of my responsibilities is to build a city on the moon."

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