Two House Democrats have introduced a bill that would establish a National Park on the moon. The new proposed legislation would create a protected zone around the area where several items were left behind by the Apollo missions that landed on the moon from 1969 to 1972.
The bill is sponsored by Reps. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas).
If passed, the bill would establish the Apollo Lunar Landing Sites National Historical Park.
According to the bill, it is needed because there is an anticipated increase in commercial moon landings expected for the future.
The bill would protect artifacts left behind from Apollo 11 through Apollo 17 missions.
Listed as the Apollo Lunar Landing Legacy Act, H.R. 2617, the bill states:
“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.”
The National Park on the Moon would be looked over by the Department of the Interior and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
If passed, the bill would allow government officials to seek funds from companies and foreign governments to help manage the landing sites and “provide visitor services and administrative facilities within reasonable proximity to the Historical Park.”
The Department of the Interior and NASA would have one year to determine how best to monitor the landing sites and how best to catalog the moon landing artifacts.
The US government would also submit the Apollo 11 lunar landing site to the United Nations for designation as a World Heritage site.
This wasn’t a bill simply passed on a whim. Both of the bills sponsors are members of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee.
Edwards isn’t just trying to pass National Park Moon bills. As a member of the House Space Subcommittee, he also submitted bill H.R. 2616, which authorizes $18.1 billion in 2014 for NASA and then rises by 2016 to $18.9 billion.
The space bill also hopes to keep funding alive and kicking for the International Space Station through 2020 while promising to send our first astronauts to Mars.
Do you think a National Park Moon bill is silly or a great way to protect significant artifacts that were left behind from our recent past?