Virgiliu Pop rocked The Space Show on Sunday (Jan. 29), and as the broadcast's esteemed host Dr. Livingston recapped, "Virgiliu Pop returned to The Space Show for this special program discussing his new book, Unreal Estate: The Men Who Sold the Moon about the men and women who have and are selling the Moon and other cosmic real estate. Mr. Pop has done stellar research on this topic and his book is extremely informative and interesting. Many of the characters in the book are hilarious to read about and listening to Virgiliu talk about them on the show was a great experience. You will find the stores he tells to be compelling, the legal augments as to why one cannot on space real estate to be illuminating, and the entire discussion to be not only unique but very special."
Listen for yourself. (MP3)
I found it especially interesting to hear Virgil say that as he worked on his thesis on space property rights (which he is completing at the University of Glasgow), his view changed: Characterizing his prior thinking as "a more socialistic approach" based on the common heritage of mankind, he says after research and reading, "I changed . . . Now I do belief that property rights are an important issue and are actually maybe indispensable for the development of space." Yes.
He's having fun, too. (Remember the sizzle when, to make a point, Virgil claimed ownership of the sun? What a hottie.) He hauls out some fascinating stories and characters from the annals of space property claims, including everything from James Thomas Mangan's Nation of Celestial Space, to Dennis Hope selling the moon, to Gregory Nemitz charging NASA a parking and storage fee for landing NEAR Shoemaker on 433 Eros. Not to mention Virgil's spin on the Masai's claim of ownership of all cows on Earth. (If these were the issues, I might never have fallen asleep during property class in law school.)
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(By the way, don't think it's easy following a guest like Rand Simberg, who should have his own Space Show. And yes, Rand cited the Outer Space Treaty on the air last week. Always a treat when the rocket wizards do that.)