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February 4, 2015 • Real Estate History

Real Estate… IN SPACE!

Let’s face it… the future is here. Widespread space exploration and colonization, the stuff of science fiction, is slowly becoming reality. We’ve walked on the moon, landed on an asteroid, flew the whole length of our solar system, and are finding new planets in other solar systems almost daily.

It wouldn’t be long before humanity starts legitimately exploring, and colonizing other planets and moons. The real estate community needs to be ready!

As far as real estate in our cosmic neighborhood, Venus may be a tough sell — sulfuric acid rain and 200 times the atmospheric pressure of Earth may really put a damper on profitable real estate values. After all, every probe we sent there either imploded, exploded, or disintegrated due to the 700+ degree temperatures.

Mars, our other next-door neighbor, seems to be a much more viable candidate. Between all the missions we’ve sent there over the years, there is more hardware on Mars than some Radio Shack stores. Several state and private space agencies are currently planning manned missions, and one even planning putting permanent citizens on Mars by the 2030s.

Getting in on the interplanetary real estate action is easy: there are websites out there selling land on Mars for $40 an acre, a steal compared to Earthly land. Considering all the future planned exploration, mining and colonization, owning a piece of land on the Red Planet may actually be a worthwhile investment.

But don’t break out the checkbook just yet… unfortunately, there is no way to actually own land on Mars. A 1967 accord called the Outer Space Treaty basically prohibits private, or national ownership of any part of space, moon or territory of other planets, treating them as “benefits for all mankind.” Of course, that does not stop many savvy entrepreneurs from claiming to be the “official owners” of space land, and selling it accordingly.

As of today, $40 will get you a shiny, official-looking certificate, and perhaps some sci-fi toys, none of which make you the legal owner of any land. However, if the Outer Space Treaty was to be abolished in the future, where on Mars would make the best real estate investment?

Mars has no surface water, so beachside property is out of the question. At an average temperature of  -80°F, and barely any atmosphere, being around the equator is pretty much useless. The best land to grab on Mars would probably be around Olympus Mons, Mars’ giant, dormant volcano. Why land around a volcano? Most likely, Olympus Mons is extinct, however, the old underground lava tubes round the volcano may serve as perfect living quarters, protecting inhabitants from radiation and planet-wide dust storms.

If you have no luck with Olympus Mons’ highly-competitive seller’s market, your next best bet may be on the poles of Mars. Mars’ polar regions are covered in ice, and possibly water ice under the surface, making the polar region ideal for habitation. The areas are also suspected to have tremendous amounts of minable minerals and other natural resources. Staking your claim to pieces of land ideal for building refineries as part of a profitable future mining operation may prove to be an excellent investment.

For now, this is all just speculation. The Outer Space Treaty prevents us from owning any extraterrestrial piece of land. Colonization of Mars has not even begun, however, once it does, we imagine territorial disputes are soon to follow, with it, the necessity to amend or abolish the Outer Space Treaty. Rest assured, that if the space Real Estate race was to start soon, RealEstateAgent.com would be right there with you, helping Earthlings and Martians alike find the best piece of property on any planet.

 

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