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Bill proposes turning moon sites into national park

House representatives launch a bill to establish the Apollo Lunar Landing Sites National Historical Park on the moon.

Astronaut on the moon
Astronaut Eugene Cernan on the moon in 1972.
NASA/Harrison H. Schmitt

Pack a sack lunch. Load the kids into the family rocket. We're going to the moon! In some far distant future when every family has a space-worthy vehicle, the typical summer vacation may skip the requisite stop at the Grand Canyon and instead head for the moon. New legislation proposes establishing the Apollo Lunar Landing Sites National Historical Park on the moon.

Reps. Donna Edwards of Maryland and Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas, both Democrats, this week introduced HR 2617, which refers to the Apollo lunar program as one of the greatest achievements in American history.

The bill reads, "...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 understanding of this singular achievement in American history."

The Apollo Lunar Landing Legacy Act would put the National Park Service in charge of the moon park, which would consist of all the artifacts left on the moon from the Apollo missions.

The bill also specifies that the Apollo 11 landing site should be submitted to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization for designation as a World Heritage Site. (I respectfully suggest that a new category of Out-Of-This-World Heritage Sites be created.)

If the bill is enacted, it could usher in a new era of awesome space parks that nobody will be able to visit anytime soon. In the meantime, we can imagine what the moon park concession counter would sell. Astronaut ice cream and Tang, anyone?

(Via National Journal)