Space archaeology: Protecting historical space sites

Published on March 24th, 2010 | by Admin


California has just named the remains of the Apollo 11 mission a state historical resource.

There is an unwritten law in America’s national parks: Carry out what you bring in.

When they visited the moon, though, the Americans weren’t nearly as considerate or in touch with nature. Astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong left behind more than 100 items when they left the moon on July 21, 1969, at 5:54 p.m., Earth Time. The items included four urine containers, several airsickness bags, a Hasselblad camera, lunar overshoes and a complete moon-landing step.
The mission was historically significant. But are the urine containers?

California historic preservationists think so. They recently registered the remains of the Apollo 11 mission in the so-called Sea of Tranquility as an “Historical Resource.” The designation gave a boost to an academic discipline that has been considered irrelevant until now: space archaeology.

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