Tuesday, October 23, 2007

He Promised Us the Moon

Sure, the financial markets may be tanking here in the United States, but don't worry, there's a new real estate market opening up just 240,000 miles away.

The Lunar Republic Society is offering parcels of Lunar real estate for the bargain price of $18.95 per acre (plus $8.00 shipping and handling). What is the Lunar Republic Society? Basically, it's a couple of guys who proclaimed themselves the government of "an independent and sovereign Lunar Republic" back in 1999. As the Society's website states:

In much the same way that major corporations — such as IBM or General Electric — offer shares of stock to raise capital, we are offering a limited number of "shares" in lunar property in order to fund privatized exploration, settlement and development of the Moon. The value of the shares is directly related to their location on the Moon, and the growth of their value is directly dependent upon successfully achieving our goal of permanently inhabiting the Moon by 2015.

Send in your money, and in return you receive a personalized parchment deed certificate, a satellite photograph of the property, and an information sheet containing geographic information on the region of the Moon where your property is located. Mind you, $18.95 just gets you property in the Sea of Vapors, the Moon's low-rent district. For property in the posher areas of the Moon like the Bay of Rainbows and the Sea of Tranquility, you can expect to pay up to $37.50 an acre.

Purchasing a plot on the Moon also entitles you to a two-year membership in the Society. As a member, you automatically gain citizenship in the Lunar Republic, which entitles you to participate in Lunar elections, receive a subscription to the Society's newsmagazine The Lunar Journal, discounts on Lunar property, and access to the members-only section of the Society's website. If you're not interested in buying property but still want to join the Society, you can get a two-year membership for $16.00.

So, if you've got some money burning a hole in your pocket, you can realize your secret dream of becoming a Lunar real estate baron. It's a small step for a man, but a giant leap for the interplanetary economy.

UPDATE: To give the Society its due, I have to admit that their managing director, David Ferrell Jackson, saw right through Bush's empty rhetoric back in 2004 when he briefly made noises about establishing a manned base on the Moon.

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