Members of the US congress have introduced a bill that hopes to turn part of the moon into a natural park to preserve it for the future.
Humans tend to be messy creatures. We like to build, pollute, tear apart and occasionally blow up anything we come into contact with. Some members of congress seem to think this problem is here to stay and if we begin colonizing the moon one day, there should me measures in place to protect its most important historical sites. Enter, the Apollo Lunar Landing Legacy Act.
The act is a bill proposed by congress in the House of Representatives that would establish preservation sites in the landing area where Apollo 11 through 17 touched down and men first walked upon the moon. The proposed sites would contain all artifacts and footprints left behind by the astronauts, and within a year, the parks would be submitted to UNESCO to become a World Heritage Site.
This is the first time a piece of legislature has been proposed with the express aim to protect something beyond our planet’s confines. It yet another one of our baby steps towards becoming a truly space-faring civilization, and also one of our first steps into space environmentalism.
A national park seems like a good idea; there’s already a plaque up there, even.
Most of us know Neil Armstrong’s first words as he exited the Apollo 11 lunar lander, but few remember Buzz Aldrin’s words as he stepped out next: “Beautiful, beautiful. Magnificent desolation”. There is indeed beauty out there, and we shouldn’t forget or neglect it. Though these sites would preserve human accomplishments in space, it’s easy to see other sites popping up to preserve the desolate landscape itself. Well done, congress.