The Motley Fool's Space Investors, Rejoice! There May Be Something Worth Mining on the Moon begins with:

It's been four years now since Bigelow Aerospace filed its application with the Federal Aviation Administration seeking "a license to land on the moon" and set up the world's first privately owned commercial space station.

It's been three years since Moon Express actually won such a license, with plans to set up a lunar mining operation.

The first link in the block quote says:

"According to documents obtained by Reuters, U.S. companies can stake claims to lunar territory through an existing licensing process for space launches."

With these words, Reuters this week led off a story of interplanetary proportions. In essence, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration appears to have appointed itself the arbiter of who owns what on the moon. (emphasis added)

Question: Has the FAA really "appointed itself the arbiter of who owns what on the moon"? Does the FAA really have anything specifically to do with landing on the Moon at all?

I am aware that they are one of the regulating bodies that one has to deal with in relation to launching from Earth, but do they have any role in deciding who can or can not land on the moon, or perhaps launch from there to return? Does the FAA regulate activities above the Karman line when launching from the US?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The Karman line??? The FAA's jurisdiction ends at FL600 (roughly 60,000 feet or 18 km) $\endgroup$
    – abelenky
    Jun 25, 2019 at 19:56
  • $\begingroup$ @abelenky I meant it figuratively rather than literally, but that's good to know! $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Jun 25, 2019 at 23:47


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