Moon Trash Declared National Treasure
Calif. aims to preserve Apollo urine containers, space boots
By Emily Rauhala,  Newser User
Posted Mar 19, 2010 5:00 AM CDT
Buzz & co. left a big mess behind.   (AP Photo/Neil Armstrong, NASA, File)

(Newser) – California has named the remains of the Apollo 11 mission—including urine containers and space boots—a state historical resource. Experts in the nascent field of space archeology worry that, without preservation, what they call a "sacred site of world history" might be looted by future missions or space tourists. "Can you imagine someone driving a cart over Neil Armstrong's first footprint?" one asks—or pieces of Apollo 11 on eBay?

Researchers say astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong left behind more than 100 items when they left the moon in 1969, among them four urine containers, airsickness bags, a Hasselblad camera, lunar overshoes and a moon-landing step. Other moon debris beloved of archeologists: the Soviet Lunik 2 space probe, the first moon vehicle, and the golf ball that US astronaut Alan Shephard hit in 1971, Spiegal Online notes.