Can the "doctrine of discovery" justify we Earthlings claiming ownership of extraterrestrial objects?
We seem to be making a bit of a mess of running the economy on planet earth. Can we do any better in space? The final frontier was once the exclusive playground of the superpowers’ military-industrial complexes, as the cold war played out above our heads. But space has rapidly been globalised and democratised, opening up to other countries and private sector companies.
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This may not be a repeat of the conquistadors vs. the natives story. Other planets may belong to technologically advanced ET species who will not take kindly to our encroachment on their territory.
By the way, this may be why they have not contacted us. Anyone watching the Earth would quickly realize humanity is a dangerous species which should be confined here at all costs.