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NASA vs. a 74-year old grandma October 24, 2011

Posted by shubber in Uncategorized.
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Flak-vested deputies? Really?

I get that NASA feels the need to maintain the shrininess and sanctity of Apollo, especially now that they’re left bumming rides from the Russians after completely failing to plan over the past 3 decades for any sort of post-shuttle capability.

But going after a grandma who was trying to raise money for her sick son by selling an old piece of memorabilia using the gestapo tactics of local law enforcement?

Shame on you.

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1. Ed Minchau - October 24, 2011

So NASA is claiming that those pieces of moon rock are US government property? How does that square with Article 2 of the UN Outer Space Treaty of 1967?

Outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means.

Clearly the US government cannot both lay claim to the rice grain sized piece of moon rock and still be in compliance with the treaty. The only way for the US government to legally claim ownership to any lunar rock is for the US to exercise Article 16 of the treaty (the escape clause), wait a year, and then go and get more lunar rocks – and any moon rocks collected between ratification of the treaty and one year after deratification can not belong to the US government. Since the US government cannot write retroactive laws (including retroactively breaking with the international treaty) no Apollo rocks may legally be the property of the US government.

By confiscating the material (and assaulting her), then leaving her without any charges being filed whatsoever, NASA has totally crossed the line. Several people involved should be summarily fired, and perhaps charged with assault among other things.

I hope she sues NASA for a lot of money.


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