Suppose we get to Mars, but how do we divide the Red Planet?
The outer space treaty prohibits the assignment of other bodies of the solar system to states, such as the Moon and Mars. However, the contract does not prohibit to explore and explore other space bodies. Some authors suggest the implementation of common areas on Mars, where some countries could work to obtain some of the natural resources of the Red Planet.
The new document in space policy considers this situation more carefully. According to him, these common areas must be created before people set foot on the Red Planet. Special legal entities must be created who will be responsible for them. Any disputes will be brought to the attention of the administrative “secretariat of Mars”, the purpose of which is to serve all the interests of the colonies.
"The Antarctic treaty system, which regulates the right to share space exclusively for scientific purposes, should be taken as the basis for this treaty," said lead author Sarah Brukns. Together with her supervisor Jacob Hakk-Mishrar, scientist from the Institute of Space Sciences Blue Marble, she suggested paying attention to the special economic zones around those countries that are washed by the oceans. Countries have exclusive rights to use these resources within 200 nautical miles from the coast. But in some cases, mutual agreements do not work as well. The authors cite a case between the division of the United States Protection Society (Humane Society International) and the Japan’s floating fish factory Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha, when Japanese whalers killed minke whales in Antarctica while in Australia. While Japan claims that they did this for scientific purposes, the authors write that an Australian court ultimately ruled in favor of Australia.
The decision was not fully implemented, but the International Court of Justice imposed a temporary ban on Japanese presence in the Antarctic. “So the problem is gone,” said Hakkom-Mishra. "This indicates the need to develop a procedure for resolving conflicts on Mars," he added.
Hakkom-Mishra plans to continue work on the Mars Treaty and update it as soon as it comes into force at the legislative level.