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Buying real estate has long been a high-stakes trade on Earth. It all depends upon the location and the condition of the place.

But what if the race to acquiring land goes beyond our planet and reaches the Moon? Owning property in the Moon has been a growing trend in India with local businessmen are buying land at a nailbiting pace. While no one can own it physically, a certificate of ownership is given to a customer upon payment.

Moon Land Sale Comes With Certificate

A local report said that businessman Vijaybhai Kathiriya from the city of Surat in Gujarat, Western India actually purchased an acre of land on the Moon and he is offering it as a gift to his two-month-old son. Kathiriya was reported to have received permission from the International Lunar Registry in New York to buy it. He is the first person from Surat to buy land on the Moon, TimesNowNews.com said in a report.

Moon tinged a red color
(Photo: Mark Brake/Getty Images) Moon tinged a red color

Kathiriya e-mailed the registry on March 13 and subsequently got the approval after submitting the necessary documents. A certificate naming his son as the rightful owner of the Lunar property was issued.

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The purchased tract of land is located at Mare Moscoviense or the Sea of Muscovy, which is on the far side of the Moon.

While the actual price of the lunar property was not known, it would cost around $750.

Kathiriya is the latest Indian who purchased land on the Moon. Bollywood entertainer Shah Rukh Khan had disclosed in a 2009 interview that an Australian woman purchases a small portion of land on the Moon for his birthday every year.

Khan had also said he was receiving certificates from the International Lunar Registry to validate the sale. In addition, a man from Odisha state in Eastern India also claimed to have owned a piece of real estate in the Moon for his newborn daughter.

More Indian Men Buying Lunar Land

In the city of Jaipur in Rajasthan state, Dharmendra Anija last year gifted his wife Sapna with three acres of land on the Moon for their eighth wedding anniversary, a report from the Times of India said. Anija also purchased the land through the Lunar Registry.

The Registry sells the various lunar areas under such names as the Lake of Dreams, Sea of Rains, Sea of Clouds, Bay of Rainbows, the Lunar Alps, and Ocean of Storms.

But are these property certificates valid? While such as the sale of Lunar land appear as a touching gift to loved ones, an international treaty, the 1967 Outer Space Treaty of which India is a signatory, prohibits legal claim to any piece of land in space or in any celestial body. These outer-space land, including those in the Moon, are a "common heritage of mankind," the treaty said, barring any individual or country to own them.

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Check Out More Stories on Lunar Exploration on Science Times