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The moon, the stepping-stone to exploring the unknown of outer space, is an extremely hostile environment without an atmosphere and climate comparable to that of Earth. Despite such forbidding characteristics, however, the moon has recently attracted attention as China, the ESA, NASA, and even commercial enterprises plan missions to the moon in the near future. This new race to the moon could be a source of future conflict, but the moon is not devoid of legality. The Moon Treaty entered into force with five member states on December 1, 1984. However, as of January 1, 2004, only ten states have ratified the treaty which has been interpreted as placing a moratorium on any lunar exploitation. Although the comparable Antarctic Treaty has had a limited number of members, its impact has nevertheless been considerable. Also, a number of international agreements have developed under the auspices of the Moon Treaty
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