Canadian lawmakers have passed an amendment to be able to prosecute people who commit crimes on the Moon.
The bizarre change in the law – which was voted on last week – was described in a 443-page budget implementation bill after Ottawa has extended its jurisdiction to cover crimes committed by Canadian astronauts during space travel to the International Space Station.
The new bill will treat crimes on the way to and on the surface of moon the same as they would if they were committed on Earth.
The amendment reads: "A Canadian crew member who, during a space flight, commits an act or omission outside Canada that if committed in Canada would constitute an indictable offence is deemed to have committed that act or omission in Canada."
Foreign astronauts could also be prosecuted under the law if they "threaten the life or security of a Canadian crew member" on a space mission.
It comes as the number of space flights continues to rapidly increase, ahead of the crewed mission to the Moon in over 50 years.
A Canadian astronaut is set to be onboard the Artemis II lunar flyby, which will launch in May 2024.
The Canadian Space Agency is participating in the NASA-led Lunar Gateway project, alongside the European Space Agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.
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The station currently in the works to orbit the Moon will act as a staging point for robotic and crewed exploration of the lunar surface, and travel to Mars from as early as 2026.
The new station which is around "one-sixth of the size of the ISS (International Space Station)," will feature "a science laboratory; a testbed for new technologies; a rendezvous location for exploration of the surface of the moon; a mission control centre for operations on the moon," according to the Canadian Space Agency.
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