NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has used its LROC system to provide looks at the Apollo 11 landing site. The remnants of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin’s historic first steps on the surface are seen as dark paths around the Lunar Module (LM), Lunar Ranging RetroReflector (LRRR) and Passive Seismic Experiment Package (PSEP), as well as leading to and from Little West crater.
Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University


Senators Gary Peters (D-Michigan) and Ted Cruz( R-Texas) have introduced a bill — the One Small Step to Protect Human Heritage in Space Act – seeking to preserve and protect Apollo 11 landing site.

The bill notes that the lunar landing sites of the Apollo 11 spacecraft, the robotic spacecraft that preceded the Apollo 11 mission, and the piloted and robotic spacecraft that followed, “are of outstanding universal value to humanity.”

The Act explains that such landing sites: are the first archaeological sites with human activity that are not on Earth; provide evidence of the first achievements of humankind in the realm of space travel and exploration; and contain artifacts and other evidence of human exploration activities that remain a potential source of cultural, historical, archaeological, anthropological, scientific, and engineering knowledge.

“As commercial enterprises and more countries acquire the ability to land on the Moon,” the bill notes, “it is necessary to ensure the recognition and protection of the Apollo 11 landing site and other historic landing sites together with all the human effort and innovation the sites represent.”

Credit: For All Moonkind

Common human heritage

“We were honored to work with Senator Peters’ office on this legislation,” says Michelle Hanlon, co-founder of For All Moonkind – a group that seeks to protect each of the six human lunar landing and similar sites in outer space as part of our common human heritage.

“When we first met in March, it was clear that the Senator and his staff share our passion for the preservation of human history in space,” Hanlon told Inside Outer Space. “They knew how important it was to get it right, and they recognized the need to develop a bill that would not violate international law by claiming any sort of possession or ownership of the historic lunar landing sites.”

Credit: For All Moonkind


Sustainable exploration

The bill is indeed a small step, Hanlon adds, but an incredibly significant one. 

“Senator Peters and Senator Cruz are asking the U.S. to take the lead in assuring that we explore space sustainably with respect for history.  We hope that the entire Senate will agree that it’s time to take this one small step and help nudge an important international conversation on protection of human heritage in space,” Hanlon says.

The bill was introduced on Thursday, May 23.

To read the entire Act, go to:

For more information on For All Moonkind, go to:

3 Responses to “Historic Moon Landing Sites: Space Act Calls for Preservation and Protection”

  • John Bigony says:

    i AM PROBABLY ONE OF THE RELATIVELY FEW “Rocket Scientist” left from the Original group that worked on the Moon Project.
    I developed the Solid Propellant for the Ullage Motors on the second Stage. That was an exciting time.
    I appreciate receiving this info and would like to continue.
    John Frank Bigony

    • Drew Leonard says:

      My dad, Don Leonard, participated on one of the lunar site selection teams.

      I’m sure he would love to connect with other members of the greater team.

  • Drew Leonard says:

    Hi, my dad, Don Leonard, was part of a team that worked on identifying potential lunar landing sites for Apollo 11. I am wondering if anyone has any further information about this effort and the team members that worked on this project.

    Thank you!
    Drew Leonard

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