January 29, 2014 7:05 pm

This Week’s Question: Can the US create a National Park on the Moon?

The Lunar Rover as seen from the Apollo 17 Lunar Module. Credit: NASA

The Lunar Rover as seen from the Apollo 17 Lunar Module. Credit: NASA

Yellowstone. Yosemite. Tranquility Base?

If Representative Rep. Donna Edwards [D-MD4] and the US Congress pass the Apollo Lunar Landing Legacy Act, then some day Americans may be spending their summer vacations visiting the Lunar surface and oohing and aahing at Mons Huygens or snapping selfies with the Earth in the background.

The bill “requires the Secretary of the Interior and the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to complete jointly a general management plan for the Park.”

It Authorizes the Secretary to enter into one or more agreements with the head of a federal agency to provide public access to, and management, interpretation, and historic preservation of, historically significant Apollo lunar landing site resources under that agency’s jurisdiction or control.”

Provide public access? To the Moon? But I digress.

The bill also “Requires the Administrator’s responsibilities to include: (1) ensuring proper monitoring of the Apollo lunar landing sites; (2) managing access to the sites, including through coordination with other spacefaring nations and entities; and (3) in conjunction with the Director of the Smithsonian Institution, ensuring an accurate cataloging of items in the Park.”

And it “Instructs the Secretary to submit the Apollo 11 lunar landing site to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for designation as a World Heritage Site.”

Which brings us to this week’s question in our survey about “Who Owns Space?”

Can the US create a National Park on the Moon?

We want to know what you think. Click here to vote and to see last week’s responses. Share your point of view in the comments. And be sure to read what other people say, if you want to join the conversation. Last week’s question elicited some passionate, thought-provoking commentary.

Let’s see if we can do even better this week. (And while we’re at it, I should mention that our survey is sponsored by Legal Zoom, so if you’re in the market for self-help legal services, you can check them out, save some money and help support StarTalk Radio at the same time.)

Remember, to see the results from last week’s question, and to vote in this week’s survey, click here.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!

–Jeffrey Simons