U.S. Reps Donna Edwards, D-Maryland, and Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, have proposed legislation — the “Apollo Lunar Landing Legacy Act” — to protect the lunar locales as a national historic park with HR 2617.
The purpose of the bill is to protect these sites for further scientific inquiry, honor the Apollo program, and to guard it from commercial enterprises and the future lunar exploration of foreign nations.
The bill can be found in full at this link. It’s one of the easier bills to read out of D.C.
The Apollo 11 landing site would become a World Heritage site as well. The map of that first moonwalk, featuring Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, can be seen here.
No one can own the lunar surface itself though; this bill just protects the moon buggies, footprints and other NASA stuff that’s been left there since the last human left in December 1972. (Houston Chronicle, July 11, 2013)
Historic parks make sense. There have been no moon landings in forty years. Neil Armstrong died in 2012, aged 82. Exploration budgets have taken a hit and in February 2010, the U.S. cancelled the “Constellation” program, intended to return Americans to the moon, then to Mars and beyond.
Today, there is a lot of talk, but nothing like the excitement. And can we blame them? In fairness, should Washington not heed leading minds in cosmology who claim that we may be living in countless unresearchable multiverses? And, in any event, as Darwin’s followers will tell us, we did not evolve so as to understand the cosmos? In that case, there is not much point even in NASA’s conventional space exploration, let alone in Star Trek’s “Boldly go.”
NASA could actually be a liability if its research continues to offer support for the Big Bang or fine tuning.
Maybe, to riff off lunar language, it was all just a phase, and the evolutionary psychologists can explain how selfish genes inherited from our earliest ancestors caused us to … (indefinitely continuous soundtrack)