Astronaut Neil Armstrong made history when he left the first dusty footprint on the Moon. The Moon landing was one of humanity’s greatest technological achievements but the marker remains unprotected by international law, writes Mercury News.
“Once you blow away the footprint, that’s gone,” said space archeologist Beth O’Leary of New Mexico State University, who is among a growing chorus of experts pleading for formal protection of historic lunar sites and artifacts.
“We need to say: ‘Don’t touch. You can’t go there. Period,’ ” said Sacramento-based Wayne Donaldson of the California Preservation Foundation.
Other historic mementoes include six U.S. flags, rigged with wire so they look like they’re saving in the breeze, as well as stainless steel commemorative plaques about the size of dinner plates. China and Russia also have implanted markets on the Moon. There are two golf balls hit by Apollo 14’s Alan Shepard, a Bible left on a dashboard of ab abandoned buggy… and bags of human waste — an estimated 400,000 pounds of stuff in all. more “Protecting Mankind’s Cultural Heritage in Space”
Space Perspective has announced plans to fly passengers and research payloads to the edge of space with its Spaceship Neptune. Flown by a pilot, Neptune will take up to eight passengers on a six-hour journey to 100,000 feet, above 99% of the Earth’s atmosphere, and back.
“We’re committed to fundamentally changing the way people have access to space – both to perform much-needed research to benefit life on Earth and to affect how we view and connect with our planet,” said Space Perspective Founder and Co-CEO Jane Poynter in a press release. “Today, it is more crucial than ever to see Earth as a planet, a spaceship for all humanity and our global biosphere.”
Aside from pitching itself as a rarefied tourist experience, Space Perspective is marketing itself to researchers, educators, and students from academic institutions. The first test flight is scheduled for 2021.
The company has signed a lease with Space Florida, the state’s spaceport development authority.
The principals behind the company, Jane and Taber designed the air, food and water systems for Biosphere 2, the most advanced prototype space base ever built.
It’s not too early to start thinking about the archaeology of the Moon, contends space archaeologist Alice Gorman in an interview in The New Lean.
The Apollo 12 mission in 1969 marked the first encounter with an archaeological artifact on the Moon. Astronauts landed 180 meters away from Surveyor 3, a robotic landing craft sent to the Moon in 1967. they removed a camera and other bits and pieces to take back to Earth, When NASA analyzed the materials, they found that the Surveyor 3 and Apollo 12 landings stirred up enough lunar dust to abrade the surfaces.
Future missions are planning to visit the Apollo sites and remove samples for analysis to gauge the impact on the lunar environment on human materials. What concerns Gorman is the prospect of erasing all those original footprints and causing further damage by stirring up more dust.
There is an archaeological principle that you never excavate all of a site. You always leave an unexcavated deposit, or you leave rock art on the walls. You leave material for future scientists to sample because we don’t know what techniques will be available in the future.more “Protecting the Moon’s Archaeological Heritage”
The Moon Village Association (MVA), dedicated to the peaceful exploration and settlement of the Moon, is proposing a symbolic event on the Moon to coincide with the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, either in 2024 in Paris or 2026 in Milan/Cortina.
“Showcasing Olympic Games on the Moon will be for the public a concrete example of the implementation of the Moon Village, and a demonstrative pilot case of Earth-based activities that can be carried over onto the Moon in an innovative new manner,” said Giuseppe Reibaldi, MVA president in a press release.
“These symbolic Olympic Games on the Moon will signal a new auspicious landmark for humanity and stimulate public inspiration; whilst at the same time attracting the interest and bringing in the involvement of industries that have never been involved before on Moon and Space related activities.”
Details are expected to be announced at the 3rd Moon Village Workshop and Symposium in Japan this December.
SpaceVR, a San Francisco, Calif.-based virtual reality company, wants to bring solar-system exploration to Earth by using modified GroPro cameras to capture and convey immersive, 3D views from the Space Station. In time, the startup hopes to capture the entire astronaut experience, reports Space.com, from training to launch to spacewalks.Ultimately, the aspiration is to put VR cameras aboard missions to the Moon, asteroids, Mars, and Jupiter.
“We want to take space exploration where it was meant to go — the whole planet experiencing it together,” said SpaceVR co-founder and chief technical officer Isaac De Souza. “When people take their first steps on Mars, there should be a SpaceVR camera there to watch.”
As of Aug. 17, 2015, the company’s crowdfunding effort had raised about $38,000 out of $500,000 needed to put cameras on the space station and cover the first year of operations.