Saturday, January 23, 2021

New Law Aims to Protect Lunar Artifacts

One Small Step Act

Cultural property on the Moon at Apollo and other sites of space exploration are to be protected by the "One Small Step Act."

Historical artifacts on the moon have rocketed into focus with the passage of the One Small Step to Protect Human Heritage in Space Act.

Introduced in Congress by Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) in May 2019 and enacted into law last month by President Donald Trump, the newly adopted statute aims to preserve cultural property located on the lunar surface. The law requires NASA to include heritage preservation measures in vendor, grantee, and partnership agreements that relate to lunar activities.

The One Small Step Act points to specific safeguards published in NASA’s Recommendations to Space-Faring Entities: How to Protect and Preserve the Historic and Scientific Value of U.S. Government Lunar Artifacts. These recommendations aim to protect objects located at the Apollo, Surveyor, Ranger, and other landing sites and to preserve astronaut bootprints and lunar rover tracks.

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