This article marks the first Untapped Cities piece about something out of this world, literally. A recently announced House bill seeks to create a national park on the moon. Proposed by Democrats Donna Edward and Eddie Bernice Johnson, the Apollo Lunar Landing Legacy Act would memorialize artifacts at the site of American moon landings as a National Historical Park.
Of course technically, the moon doesn’t belong to any one country. The United Nations Outer Space Treaty establishes space as the “province of all mankind,” but actually only six of the 185 countries signed it. The United States wasn’t one of those.
Nonetheless, legislation emphasizes that it does not claim ownership of any part of the lunar surface. The bill intends to protect American equipment left at the landing sites. In addition, the bill encourages the Secretary of the Interior to nominate the site as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With a projected increase in aerospace traffic (by private citizens, too), we hate to admit this preemptive measure might be somewhat logical. But can a non-Earth location really be called a “World” Heritage Site? At any rate, the chances of the bill actually being enacted are extremely slim.
If passed, the landing sites will join the 46 other National Historical Parks, including the Appomattox Courthouse and Thomas Edison’s residence in New Jersey.
Get in touch with the author @YiinYangYale.