In 1980, Mr. Dennis Hope, “The Head Cheese”, went to his local US Governmental Office for claim registries, the San Francisco County Seat, and made a claim for the entire lunar surface, as well as the surface of all the other eight planets of our solar system and their moons (except Earth and the sun). Obviously, he was at first taken for a crackpot, until, 3 supervisors, 2 Floors and 5 hours later, the main supervisor accepted, and registered his claim.



On that wonderful day the Lunar Embassy was born. Dennis then wrote a letter to the General Assembly of the United Nations, and the Russian Government documenting his claim and the legal intent to sell extraterrestrial properties.

“I sent the United Nations a declaration of ownership detailing my intent to subdivide and sell the moon and have never heard back,” he says. “There is a loophole in the treaty—it does not apply to individuals.”

Dennis’s case was primarily based on the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, in which UN members accepted that no government should ever own or exploit a moon or planet. What this treaty did not say, however, was that private individuals couldn’t have a piece of it. The subsequent Moon Treaty of December 18, 1979 attempted to redress this issue, but as very few bothered to sign it, the gap remained. In staking his claim, Dennis cited the Homesteaders’ Act, passed by America during the 19th century, allowing wilderness entrepreneurs to claim land without actually bothering to go there, simply investing from a distance. No one disputed Dennis’s claim, and so he started selling land in space.

Now this may well sound absurd, but the US government had several years to contest such a claim, which they never did. Neither did the United Nations nor the Russian Government. This allowed Mr. Hope to take the next step and copyright his work with the US Copyright registry office. So, with his claim and Copyright Registration Certificate from the US Government in hand, Mr. Hope became what is probably the largest landowner on the planet today.

In 1996, Dennis opened his first web site, the MoonShop, which was the first Internet website ever, to be selling properties on any extraterrestrial body. Within months of opening the Lunar Embassy received overwhelming press attention worldwide, and appeared on TV in over 180 countries on approximately 80 different TV channels, including CNN International, RTL, NBC and Australia Channel 9 to name just a few. Since then the Lunar Embassy has sold more than 611 million acres of land on the moon as well as properties on Mars, Venus, Mercury and IO. Plots on the moon have even been sold to three former US presidents (George H.W. Bush, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan) and over 675 well known celebrities. In 2004 Hope formed the Galactic Government, a democratic republic that represents extraterrestrial landowners with a ratified constitution, a congress, unit of currency and even its own patent office. You can learn more about the legalities on our Space Law page.

The bottom line is that Dennis, his team at the Lunar Embassy, all of us at and Moonlife Ltd, wish you all the best with your intergalactic experience. Be well.

You might like to check out the interview with the New York Times, where Dennis talks about his reasons for creating the Lunar Embassy: