September 22, 2011

NASA recommends 'No-Fly Zones' on the Moon

By the end of the month, it is said that NASA will come up with a list of 'recommendations' for any spacecraft or astronauts what will be going to the moon. They include the landing sites for the Apollo 11 and 17 lunar landers. Now, these recommendations will not be legally binding because of a treaty that was made in 1967 that states that the Moon has no real owner, but are still there to try and preserve the more than 30 historical sites that have been made on the moon by the U.S.
What made NASA make these recommendations to begin with was the Google Lunar X contest that consists of landing a robot on the Moon, having it travel 500 meters and take a picture or video of the lunar surface. Since taking pictures of one of the landing sites would most likely win the grand prize, NASA decided to try and stop the teams from doing so since it might ruin the original landing sites. Now, not everyone will want to follow these recommendations. For example, studying bacteria in the feces and food left by astronauts on the moon will show if the bacteria died out or how it mutated to survive the harsh radiation from the sun. Any metallic objects will show how they have degraded over time due to all the radiation exposure from the sun. NASA remains hopeful that people will try and respect these limits and that they try and preserve such historic artifacts.


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