New National Park ... on the Moon?

Two members of Congress hope to make it so

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 9, 2013 4:05 PM CDT | Updated Jul 14, 2013 7:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – For vacationers who make it their life's mission to visit all the country's national parks, this last step is a doozy—two members of Congress want to create one on the moon, reports the Hill. The proposed Apollo Lunar Landing Sites National Historical Park would consist of all the stuff that Apollo astronauts left behind on their missions between 1969 and 1972, including lunar modules. Democrats Donna Edwards of Maryland and Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas say the move is necessary given all the commercial startups getting ready to ferry people into space.

At Foreign Policy, Joshua Keating notes that the bill isn't trying to carve out land on the moon for the park, which probably isn't legal under existing international agreements. That's why the park would consist only of artifacts. "This makes more sense," he writes. "US ships are generally considered part of American territory, so why not spacecraft?" It would be tricky, though not impossible, to claim lunar land for the US, and Keating thinks Newt Gingrich is just the man for the job. (Click to read about how the Earth once had a second moon.)

This July 20, 1969, photo provided by NASA shows Neil Armstrong on the moon.   (AP Photo/NASA, Buzz Aldrin)
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