OK, so this is not as easy as we first thought … but we still think we’ve got it nailed.
In order to get the beneficial UN actions that we all want, we need powerful leverage and influence… something we dont have naturally.
In proving the legal requirements for celestial land acquisition we would, with sufficient support, gain that poweful influence we require.
So we aim to prove that our actions and plans are sufficient to gain title possession to Mars. From that, we might just be able to get the UN changes we want, plus deliver an appropriately large reward to all our claimants who join us here through Mars Register.
OK, so we initially thought this was a challenge, equally mired in science and law. However, over time we have realised that it is the law that constitutes the biggest hurdle.
With respect to the science: we clearly have to demonstrate our safe, stable and mathematically correct use of lasers in order to deliver laser light energy to Mars. We need to argue that energetic laser light will have a small [non zero] beneficial effect on the Mars land and atmosphere [and possibly organic chemistry, even photosynthetic life]. Certainly, most scientists would agree that in order to terraform Mars, we might like to add a bit of heat/light to the planet. Liberating CO2 gas directly from the polar dry ice could [with perhaps only a 3 degree temp rise] lead to a greenhouse effect, leading to increased atmospheric pressure sufficient to support humans without pressure suits [still not breathable]. Also, any heat/light will be most welcome for any primitive photosynthetic life [which is still thought possible on Mars].
So, if we can show that, in all likelihood, our use of lasers is having a small [non zero] beneficial effect, that should be enough. The size of the effect is, we think, unlikely to be legally significant… whether we shower the Mars surface with quadrillions of photons per second or just trillions, that shouldn’t matter so much. So perhaps our recent procurement of more powerful blue lasers is not really needed [we have upgraded quite recently to a 1000mW blue laser and have ordered a 3500mW blue to follow soon.
Indeed, despite the need to get our sums right and show that the maths do stack up [together with video record of our laser targetting of planets], it is the legal stuff that will really decide whether we can reach our goals.
Big legal issues:
1/ Stay lawful, safe and compliant with guidelines in our use of lasers in UK airspace. WE DO.
2/ Ensure our actions [the use of Earth based lasers in our possession of Mars] do not infringe the existing Space Treaty. THEY DO NOT [specifically, we make no sovereignty goals or claims, no actual ‘actions’ in space, nor any ‘objects’ are sent into space. Photons, as described by physicists, are particles/waves without resting mass and so experts define them NOT to be objects].
The Moon Agreement would constitute a barrier to our legitimate actions if it had been ratified sufficiently, but of course no space faring nation signed it.
So we dont see existing Space law as a significant hurdle.
The interpretation of International law with respect to new land acquisition is a different matter. Also, with a medical degree rather than any legal qualification, our initial legal exploration through all this was messy and confusing.
Nevertheless, with some help, we have gained a decent grounding in the main elements and can see the huge similarity between actual possession [in Private Law] and Effective Occupation [by sovereign powers in Public Law]. Hence, how a squatter acquires unregistered land by adverse possession is in many ways similar to how a sovereign state gains title to new land by Effective Occupation. In both cases it is really ‘factual possession’ that is required.
We see that factual possession is proven through a variable degree of involvment with the land claimed; this really depends on the nature of the land. So land ready for settlement and flush with resources ready for trading [class 1 land] must be settled with trading demonstrated in order for title award. Poor, difficult land [like Antarctica and Mars] does not requires settlement or even actual land use. We understand that we dont even have to go there [so no need to convince the first astronaut to Mars to join our venture!]. We do have to manage the land as would be expected of an owner-occupier.
We suggest that our actions to benefit the Mars land, our repeated claims of possession / ownership [via laser Morse code, spacespeak.com, twitter, and verbal] and our governance/admin actions and plans [see The Mars Trust] are all entirely in keeping with the proof requirement for factual possession of a distant difficult land.
We now need to get this website up and running, start building up support, continue bringing in fellow claimants [joining our act of possession] and gain the opinion and hopefully some support from scientists, lawyers, business people and politicians. Thus we can send of our applications for First Registration of Mars land to the UN [trusteeship Council?] with the knowledge that a wave of pressure is heading their way…
After all, if we are successful in getting to our goals, we will have rewarded our claimants handsomely, plus gifted the UN with a turnkey solution to guarantee both celestial safety and peaceful, vibrant space business and exploration.