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It's possible/likely that one day we'll be able to post/mail/deliver stuff to a non-terrestrial vehicle, such as an orbiting vehicle or an extraterrestrialLy landed vehicle, without involving the vehicle's governing organisation (eg NASA).

What would be its address?
Who would have jurisdiction over deciding?

Here are some ideas:

<Recipient>
<Name of craft>
<Location> (options of LEO, GSO, HEO, Luna, Mars, LMO)
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closed as primarily opinion-based by kim holder Aug 5 '16 at 22:10

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ I think this question is probably too broad (unless you restrict to one country) and too speculative, however you might be onto something: navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=84519 $\endgroup$ – called2voyage Aug 5 '16 at 20:28
  • $\begingroup$ Although there are two attempts to answer this question, i think we are getting sidetracked from the point that it can't be answered in a factual way. These attempts are in good faith, but are conversational and not really what the site is designed for. So, i felt moved to stem the flow of conversational juices... $\endgroup$ – kim holder Aug 5 '16 at 22:13
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    $\begingroup$ By the way, @called2voyage was using a moderator ploy of making a comment instead of voting to close, as a moderator vote instantly closes, and cuts off the chance for the community to decide, and develop our collective close policy and skills. Many moderators wish we had the option to vote like regular members for this reason. $\endgroup$ – kim holder Aug 5 '16 at 22:16
  • $\begingroup$ Bohemian, you accepted one of the current answers, which people tend to take to mean that you are satisfied and don't seek more information. However, you have edited your question, which seems to show you are interested in it being reopened. To be reopened it would need to be possible to answer it factually. No way of modifying it so that is possible occurs to me with this question. $\endgroup$ – kim holder Aug 7 '16 at 22:33
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It would probably just be designated by the satellite catalogue number contained in that spacecraft’s two line element. With that number the orbital postal service could look up your spacecraft’s two line element which would tell them exactly what orbit they would need to be in to rendezvous. For example, the satellite catalogue number of the ISS is 25544 so if I was sending you a letter the address might look like this

Bohemian

International Space Station, Habitation Module

LEO, 25544

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  • $\begingroup$ Or maybe "25544, LEO" (more specific first), like "123 Park Ave, New York" $\endgroup$ – Bohemian Aug 5 '16 at 22:18
  • $\begingroup$ If you are specifying the catalogue number, why would you need to specify the orbit further? I see little value being added by the "LEO" qualifier, but could see some value in specifying the central body in the orbit. So you might instead make that "Bohemian, International Space Station, Habitation Module, 25544, Earth orbit". The actual spacecraft is then specified by the pair catalogue number + central body designator ("25544, Earth orbit"), the recipient is specified by the name ("Bohemian"), the rest is mainly for readability and possibly ambiguity resolution. $\endgroup$ – a CVn Aug 6 '16 at 16:13
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    $\begingroup$ Adding vague sorting abilities without the necessity to read and lookup the catalogue number? Allows for bulk sorting before more detailed sorting is applied. Just a possible explanation. Also retains some human readability. $\endgroup$ – Saiboogu Aug 6 '16 at 16:44
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    $\begingroup$ They would be there for the same reason we include the city and state on postal addresses even though that knowledge is included in the zip code. $\endgroup$ – SpacePaulZ Aug 8 '16 at 15:45
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Currently, you just use the mailing address of the controlling entity of the satellite/module. For example, mail to astronauts on ISS should go to one of

[Astronaut's name]
NASA Headquarters
300 E. Street SW, Suite 5R30
Washington, DC 20546
U.S.A


[Cosmonaut's name],
Russian Federal Space Agency
42 Schepkina st.
Moscow 107996 
Russia


[Astronaut's name]
ESA Communication Department
ESRIN
Via Galileo Galilei
Casella Postale 64
I-00044 Frascati
Italy 

That way the mail will reach the right recipient.

Until actual postal service is established to the satellites, any direct mailing addresses of these, bypassing the ground HQ, are a pure speculation.

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  • $\begingroup$ Note that I'm thinking parcel delivery via private launch service, not "mail" or official agency launch $\endgroup$ – Bohemian Aug 5 '16 at 22:16
  • $\begingroup$ @Bohemian: then it would be up to the creator of the service to develop the postal address system. $\endgroup$ – SF. Aug 6 '16 at 1:46

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