July 9, 2013
No human has landed there in 40 years, the U.S. has no current plans to return, and there's no rest stop for the kids between it and the Earth, but Democratic House members have put forth a proposal to establish a national park on the moon.
The move, proposed by Reps. Donna Edwards of Maryland and Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas, preempts commercial ventures or other countries that could, in theory, establish tourist traps along the remains of Apollo missions.
The bill explains,
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; and
establishing the Historical Park under this Act will expand and enhance the protection and preservation of the Apollo lunar landing sites and provide for greater recognition and public under-standing of this singular achievement in American history.
The legislation proposed that within a year of its passage, the National Park Service must establish a moon unit. Eighteen months after enactment, the agency has to draft a plan for the park. Which begs the question: What's the use of a national park if no one can get there ... yet? The Golden Spike Co., a commerical enterprise, has preliminary plans to send tourists to the moon. However, it estimates the trip could cost $1.5 billion—and that's just for two people.
Read the draft bill here.
July 9, 2013