Because humanity suffers from the double burden of unbearable viruses and political unrest, it is difficult to worry about boot prints sunk in the soil 238,900 miles away. But how humans treat these footprints and the historic lunar landing sites where they were discovered will explain who we humans are and who we seek to be.
On December 31, the “One Small Step to Protect Human Heritage in Space” became law. As far as the law is concerned, this is very good. It requires companies that cooperate with NASA on missions to the moon to agree to be bound by other unenforceable guidelines designed to protect the US moon landing sites. That is a small part of the affected entity. However, this is also the first law promulgated by any country to recognize the existence of human heritage in outer space. This is important because it reaffirms humanity’s commitment to protecting our history-as we do on earth-the Machu Picchu Historic Sanctuary, which is protected through instruments such as the World Heritage Convention-and also Acknowledge that the human species is expanding into space.
I am a lawyer dedicated to dealing with space issues aimed at ensuring peace, the sustainable exploration and use of space. I believe that people can achieve world peace through space. To this end, we must recognize that landing sites on the moon and other celestial bodies are their universal human achievement, based on the research and dreams of scientists and engineers spanning this earth century. I think that the “one-step approach” formulated in a divided political environment shows that space and protection are indeed non-partisan, or even unified principles.
The moon is getting crowded and moving fast
We have seen the continued existence of humans on the moon for only a few decades, maybe even a few years.
Although it is good to think that the human community on the moon will be a collaborative, multinational utopia-despite being located in Buzz Aldrin’s famous description as “great desolation”-the truth is that people once again interact with each other. Race to reach our target lunar neighbor.
The goal of the American Artemis project is the most ambitious task. The goal of the project is to send the first woman to the moon in 2024. Russia has revitalized its Luna program, creating conditions for sending astronauts to the moon in the 2030s. However, in a race that was once reserved for superpowers, there are now multiple countries and multiple private companies participating.
India is planning to send a rover to the moon this year. China implemented its first successful lunar return mission since 1976 in December. The country has announced multiple moon landings in the next few years. Chinese media reported plans for a manned moon landing mission within ten years. South Korea and Japan are also building lunar landers and probes.
Private companies such as Astrobotic, Masten Space Systems and Intuitive Machines are working hard to support NASA’s mission. Other companies, such as ispace, Blue Moon and SpaceX, although also supporting NASA missions, are preparing to provide private missions, including tourism. How do all these different entities collaborate with each other?
Space is not lawless. The 1967 Outer Space Treaty has now been ratified by 110 countries (including all current aerospace countries), providing guiding principles and supporting the concept of space as a province for all mankind. The treaty clearly stated that all countries, that is, their citizens, have the freedom to explore and freely enter all regions of the moon.
That’s right. Everyone is free to roam where they need it-Neil Armstrong’s footprint records, close to sensitive scientific experiments or mining operations. There is no concept of property on the moon. The only restriction on this freedom is the proof carried out in Article IX of the treaty that all activities carried out on the moon must “consider” the corresponding interests of everyone else and if you wish, you must negotiate with others. May cause “harmful interference”.
what does this mean? From a legal point of view, no one knows.
Outstanding universal value
It can be reasonably argued that interfering with experiments or mining activities on the moon would be harmful and would cause quantifiable damage, thus violating the treaty.
But what about abandoned spacecraft like the Eagle like the Apollo 11 lunar lander? Do we really have to rely on “due consideration” to prevent deliberate or unintentional destruction of this inspiring history? This object commemorates the work of hundreds of thousands of astronauts and astronauts who dedicated their lives to the moon and gave their lives to the stars, and the work of quiet heroes like Catherine Johnson to cheer for them. The math did it.
Lunar landing sites-from Luna 2, the first man-made object to hit the moon, to every manned Apollo mission, to Chang-e 4, which deployed the first rover on the other side of the moon-special It is the biggest technological achievement of mankind to date. They symbolize everything we have accomplished as a species and have this hope for the future.[[[[There is a wealth of knowledge every day. Subscribe to the “Talk” newsletter. ]
“One step” is its name. This is a small step. It only applies to companies working with NASA; it only applies to moon landing sites in the United States; it implements outdated and untested recommendations to protect the historic lunar reserve that NASA implemented in 2011. This is the first legislation from any country that recognizes that non-human sites have “outstanding universal value” to mankind, and the language is taken from the unanimously ratified “World Heritage Convention.”
The bill also encourages the development of best practices to protect human heritage in space by developing the concepts of due respect and harmful interference-this development will also guide how countries and companies can cooperate with each other. Recognizing and protecting historical sites is only one step away. This is the first step in developing a peaceful, sustainable and successful lunar governance model.
The boot record is not protected yet-so far. There is still a long way to go to reach an enforceable multilateral/universal agreement to manage the protection of all human heritage in space, but “a small step” should give us all hope for the future of space and the earth.
This article is republished from The Conversation, a non-profit news website dedicated to sharing the ideas of academic experts. Its author: Michelle · LD · Hanlon, University of Mississippi.
Michelle LD Hanlon (Michelle LD Hanlon) is affiliated to the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization For All Moonkind, which strives to protect six human lunar landing platforms and similar activity sites, which is our common human heritage a part of.