REAL LIFE NEWS: DO SQUATTERS RIGHT APPLY IN SPACE?
Here's an interesting thought. If the International Space Station is left empty for a while - which may well happen later this year - could anyone else move in and become a space-squatter?
The reason the ISS might be abandoned is that the Russian rocket taking supplies to the station crashed in Siberia a few weeks ago. Since the unmanned space truck was very similar to the launch vehicle that ferries astronauts to the ISS, the Russian space authorities have postponed flights until at least late October.
There are currently two Soyuz capsules docked with the ISS to bring astronauts home, with one scheduled to return in September and the other no later than mid-October.
If the Russian commission investigating the crash hasn't completed its work by then, the astronauts could leave the station without any new crew going up to replace them. In which case, NASA admits, the ISS could be left uncrewed for the first time in a decade.
NASA say this won't be a problem because the station can be controlled from the ground, so it can remain in orbit indefinitely.
But if it's left uninhabited for too long, I just wonder if anyone else might try to take it over. Or... anything! Alien squatters, perhaps?