Can We Preserve Historic Landing Sites on the Moon?


Landing spot ‘centre for Moon tourism’

“Take only pictures, leave only footprints” is the message to visitors at many beauty spots. One place you won’t see it, though, will be at the first extraterrestrial national park, perhaps set up to preserve the spot on the moon where Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took their giant leap for mankind.

It may still be some years off, but the imminent reality of space tourism is already prompting some archaeologists to start planning how to protect historic sites in space.

With further moon missions planned, the fear is that the integrity of sites like Apollo 11’s landing place may be compromised.

“Technologically, probably the most important event in human history was to land on another celestial body,” says Beth O’Leary of New Mexico State University in Las Cruces.

“It’s like the discovery of fire, or the first stone tools. They should be protected and preserved.”

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