The US State of California has decided that the Land of the Free has the legal power to declare the Apollo 11 landing site a protected archaeology site.
Apparently the US has been worried that someone will rush to the moon and damage the site of humanities “one small step”.
When Apollo 11 astronauts burgered off from the moon, they left behind not just the small steps of men but a giant pile of equipment and junk.
Some of the junk was left behind so that the lander could take off again with all the moon rocks that the astronauts could garner.
Included were space boots and portable life support systems, the arm rests from their cockpit seats, a hammer, cameras and containers; tethers and antennas; empty food bags and bags filled with urine.
California is poised to become the first state to register the items at Tranquillity Base as an official “state historical resource”.
If the US State Historical Resources Commission approves the idea, Tranquillity Base could be designated a United Nations World Heritage Site.
Although there is no doubt that the site needs to be protected, it opens up a can of worms over which nation state actually owns the moon and how the place should be administered. It is fairly likely that humanity will colonise the moon, but it is not clear who will govern it.
While America is claiming that one part of the Moon belongs to one state then all sorts of problems start to arise. We doubt that California is going to send any coppers to check out if the site has been touched by souvenir hunters.
Still, it does solve America’s problem that it does not have any history and its founding myth is about as historically accurate as Romulus and Remus. All the US has to do is take over landmasses that have a history and it is sorted.