Many would say that no one owns outer space or that everyone owns it. Maybe you’d think space is owned by the UN, Russia or the United States. This isn’t a topic most people consider.
In 1948 James T. Mangan made a legal acquisition of new territory, the first person to seize outer space. He touched and occupied a small part of the universe which is interconnected with the rest of the cosmos. He claimed outer space in the name of Celestia, The Nation of Celestial Space.
Scientists and politicians of the late 1940’s knew that the next major conflict could extend beyond the atmosphere. In addition to building nuclear weapons the two major powers also developed long-range rockets to transport them. Such rockets, if pointed toward the heavens, could result in space becoming a battlefield.
Mangan built his nation as a beacon for peace. He recognized that outer space could be used for great scientific advancement and achievement. He envisioned a world where the same rockets made for war would transport people and satellites into space to change the world.
For the remainder of his life Mangan was praised by some and ridiculed by others. He was politely rebuffed by most nations although several recognized his nation informally. Celestia’s flag was flown in front of the United Nations alongside all the flags of the member nations on June 6, 1958 as a tribute to his vision. An application for membership is still pending.