July 20, 1969: Neil Armstrong and “Buzz “Aldrin became the first men to set foot on the surface of the moon. Not only would they leave behind an American flag and a few footprints, but over 100 artifacts of their journey to the lunar surface. Among the objects left behind were:
- Two pairs of space boots
- A television camera
- A hammer
- Two medals commemorating two dead cosmonauts
- Two urine collection assemblies
- And four defecation collection devices (poop bags)
The moon landing site, known as the Bay of Tranquility, is now the subject of growing debate in the realm of heritage protection. While there is no doubt the site represents a great achievement for all of mankind, some are claiming that the moon landing site needs to be preserved. While the artifacts are not threatened from wind or weather damage, we live in a world that is seeing the increased privatization of space travel and the thought of having tourists on the moon within fifty years may not be far off. And with the Google Lunar X Prize up for grabs, unmanned devices may begin plunking down on the big cheese in the next couple of years.
What do you think? Should governments begin taking steps to preserve the Bay of Tranquility as a world heritage site or is the idea just space junk?