Credit: NASA/Washington Heritage Register

 

 

The Washington State Advisory Council on Historic Preservation has unanimously approved the designation of Apollo Lunar Rover Vehicles (LRVs) built by Boeing in Kent, Washington as Washington state historic landmarks.

Apollo 16 exploration site.
Credit: NASA/Washington Heritage Register

The city of Kent and the Kent Downtown Partnership applied to receive historic landmark designation for the LRVs used in Apollo Mission 15 in 1971, and Apollo 16, Apollo 17 in 1972.

At the Boeing Space Center in the 1970s, building 18-23 is where LRV fabrication, manufacturing, and assembly occurred. Building 18-24 is where LRVs were tested.

Apollo 15 rover.
Credit: NASA/Washington Heritage Register

 

Gone untouched

In documentation supporting the preservation request, it is noted that “the three rovers used in Apollo missions 15, 16, and 17 remain on the lunar surface and have gone untouched since they were last used during their respective assignments.”

LRV fabrication and testing. Credit: City of Kent/Boeing

Furthermore, the document adds: “It should be noted that City of Kent Landmarks Commission designated the three extant Lunar Roving Vehicles as Community Landmarks on July 25, 2019. This Washington Heritage Register application builds on that effort and on the precedent set by California and New Mexico, the first two states to include lunar objects and structures in their state historic registers. Those efforts involved the Apollo 11 Tranquility Base, where more than 100 objects and structures remain from the first human exploration of the lunar surface. In 2010, the California State Historical Resources Commission and the New Mexico Cultural Properties Review Committee voted unanimously to add the many features at Tranquility Base to their respective state registers.”

To view the Washington Heritage Register application – chock full of LRV details – go to:

https://dahp.wa.gov/sites/default/files/documents/nominations/WHR_application_Kent_LRVs_FINAL.pdf

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