By Jane Well
CNBC's Jane Wells spoke to Robert Bigelow of Bigelow Aerospace about owning parts of the moon, and how worried he is about China. "No one should own the moon, but multiple entities should have opportunity to own the moon," said Bigelow.
NASA is in the middle of jettisoning its old business model. The U.S. space agency is trying to figure out what kinds of products and services it should buy "off the shelf" from companies like SpaceX, and how much should it invest in its own development in order to push American discovery to the next level.
Robert Bigelow thinks a happy medium can be found. The founder of Bigelow Aerospace made a fortune in the hotel and real estate businesses, and he's pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into an enterprise that will create inflatable habitats designed for life beyond Earth. He entered into an agreement with NASA to provide a report on how ventures like his could help NASA get back to the moon, and even Mars, faster and cheaper.
The catch? It needs to be worth his while.
Bigelow is applying to the Federal Aviation Administration's Office of Commercial Space Transportation to amend a 1967 international agreement on the moon so that a system of private property rights can be established there. "When there isn't law and order," he said, "there's chaos."
Bigelow said he believes the right to own what one discovers on the moon is the incentive needed for private enterprise to commit massive amounts of capital and risk lives. "It provides a foundational security to investors," he said. . . .
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