Hyderabad: An Indian, who bought a five-acre plot on moon 16 years back, is having the time of his life. Rajeev V. Bagdi, who purchased the plot for $140 from New York-based Lunar Society International in 2003, is now hoping that moon tourism will start by 2030.
"When I purchased the plot, I thought posterity will benefit from it, but now I am hopeful that I will be able to go to the moon with my family," said Bagdi, who owns an Ayurveda store.
Like many others, Bagdi was fascinated by lunar landscape since childhood. "I don't know why I was so inquisitive. While surfing the internet, I came across an article on moon plots that were up for sale.
I studied it, did my research and took a decision to buy the plot," he said.He has official documents issued by the Lunar Republic, including a registered claim and deed for lunar property, declaration of citizenship and a map.
"Rajeev Bagdi is the true and legal owner of the property located at Mare Imbrium (Sea of Rains) 32.8 degree north latitude, 15.6 degree west longitude track-30," reads the deed registered by the Lunar Registry in New York on July 27, 2003.
"I have a claim on moon. If their exploration is successful, if they succeed in making lunar tourism a reality and take control of this land parcel, they will honour the deed as per the map given," explained Bagdi.Bagdi, who is also a stock market analyst, believes that he had invested in something good and had taken a calculated risk.
He trusted Lunar Republic because under an international treaty on extra-terrestrial property, only they can claim ownership."There is nothing illegal. It is a privately funded exploration.
It may kick-in or it may fail. I had invested in a project which can help mankind. At least the coming generations would feel that their forefathers acted with foresight," he said.Bagdi also said that lakhs of people from around the world had purchased plots on moon.
Rajeev's cousin Lalit Mohata has also followed in his footsteps."When I bought the plot, people laughed at me. They called me a fool and a lunatic,’’ he recounts. Bagdi points out that going to the US was a big thing a couple of decades ago.
By MOHAMMED SHAFEEQ