Despite the fact that no one has been to the moon in the past 40 years and the U.S. has no immediate plans to make a return visit anytime soon, two Democratic House members have proposed a bill to establish a national park on the moon.
On Monday, Reps. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) proposed creating the Apollo Lunar Landing Sites National Historical Park. They say the measure will preempt commercial ventures or other countries that could establish tourist traps along the remains of Apollo missions.
The move will serve to protect the spots where the Apollo 11 through 17 missions (minus Apollo 13, which was aborted) landed on the moon between 1969 and 1972, as well as all the artifacts the 12 astronauts who walked on the moon left behind.
The bill explains,
"As commercial enterprises and foreign nations acquire the ability to land on the Moon, it is necessary to protect the Apollo lunar landing sites for posterity; and establishing the Historical Park under this Act will expand and enhance the protection and preservation of the Apollo lunar landing sites and provide for greater recognition and public under-standing of this singular achievement in American history."
The legislation would allow the government to accept donations to manage the sites, and "provide visitor services and administrative facilities within reasonable proximity to the Historical Park."
The legislation dictates that the Secretary of the Interior would be responsible for managing the park. Also, it directs NASA's Administrator to do the following:
- Ensuring proper monitoring of the Apollo lunar landing sites;
- Manage access to the sites, including through coordination with other spacefaring nations and entities; and
- In conjunction with the Director of the Smithsonian Institution, ensure an accurate cataloguing of items in the Historical Park.
Read the full bill below:
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