Want to own a little piece of heaven? It's yours, starting at $19.99 an acre--on the moon. If you prefer, you can buy property on Venus or Mercury.
If that's still too close to the hustle and bustle of Earth, there's Mars--33.9 million miles from Times Square. A deed, with your name on it, to a prime-view one acre lot on Mars will set you back $22.49, plus tax, plus shipping (not from Mars) and handling.
The man selling these lots is Dennis Hope, founder and owner of Lunar Embassy Corp of Gardnerville, Nev., which claims to hold the property rights to several heavenly bodies. How many? "Nine altogether," says Hope brightly. "When we started, Pluto was still considered a planet."
That was 1968. At the time, Hope was unemployed, hadn't worked for a year, was getting divorced and lived in San Francisco. Things looked bad. He remembers thinking that if only he only had property, things might be better. "Then I saw the moon," he recalls. "I thought, there's a lot of property up there."
He discovered that little stood between him and ownership—hardly more than stood between proud Cortez and, say, and Mexico, once the intrepid Spaniard had taken a shine to it.