International group forms to get UN protection of Apollo sites


Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.

An international group of lawyers, academics, and business people has formed an organization called “For All Moonkind,” aimed specifically at getting UN protections for the six lunar Apollo sites.

They are going to the UN because, based on the Outer Space Treaty, this is the only place that has jurisdiction. Unfortunately. This quote illustrates why:

“Though we are based in the US, we are an international organization,” said Michelle Hanlon, US space lawyer and Co-Founder of For All Moonkind. “Humaid Alshamsi [the UAE participant] brings tremendous experience in public and private aviation and space law to our team. We are thrilled that he has agreed to join our effort.”

For All Moonkind was critical of the auction by Sotheby’s of the Apollo 11 Contingency Lunar Sample Return Bag used by astronaut Neil Armstrong. “The astronauts of the Apollo project represented all of us here on Earth,” explained aviation and space lawyer and Advisory Council Member Humaid Alshamsi, “they went to the Moon in peace for all, and the relics of their historic achievement should be shared by all. The loss of this artifact to a private collector is a loss for humanity.”

The Outer Space Treaty forbids any nation from claiming territory in space, thus leaving it under the control of the UN and the international community, a community that — as demonstrated by this quote — is hostile to capitalism and private enterprise. While I laud this group’s desire to protect these historic sites, I fear their actions are going to place limits on the freedoms and property rights of future space colonists.

Share

8 comments

  • wayne

    I do not laud this group’s (alleged) desire to protect these historic sites. They just want to transport their twisted ideology into space, and they want to force all of us, to pay for it.

    If akmed wanted that sample return bag “preserved for all mankind” so bad, he should have bought it at Auction, no one was stopping him.

    Just who do these clowns, think they are?

    (tangentially, the sooner were turn the UAE into an ash-heap, the better.)

  • Edward

    Robert,
    I think that you misspelled “Moonkind” in the first sentence.

    As for future space colonists, I suspect that when they realize that they are living under similar limitations as the American Colonists (e.g. mercantilism, lack of control over their own laws, someone else claims ownership of their property, etc.), they will eventually declare a similar independence.

  • Edward: Ugh, this has been an error-filled few days. I misread their name as “For all Mankind.” I have now corrected the post.

  • Edward

    Some weeks just go better than others. This is not one of those weeks.

  • LocalFluff

    Just nonsense!
    If the US wants to protect its Lunar heritage from the Chinese, then simply station a couple of hundred tactical nukes on Taiwan and a couple of hundred more in Vietnam. And they will become very negotiable.

    Treaty or not. Treaties are for gentlemen, not with communists or islamists or other animals. Regardless of what their eternally failed “lawyers” say about it.

  • Edward

    LocalFluff,
    You wrote: “If the US wants to protect its Lunar heritage from the Chinese, then simply station a couple of hundred tactical nukes on Taiwan and a couple of hundred more in Vietnam. … Treaty or not. Treaties are for gentlemen, not with communists or islamists or other animals.”

    Over time, you keep suggesting that the US should do ungentlemanly or even animalistic things, then you say that it is the other countries that act badly. I wish that you would recommend more civilized solutions for our problems. You may come from a foreign point of view, but I wish you had a better opinion of America and its respect for law and order, rather than suggest that we act like a frustrated baby instead of the adult in the room.

  • To your point: “While I laud this group’s desire to protect these historic sites, I fear their actions are going to place limits on the freedoms and property rights of future space colonists.”

    First, thank you!
    Second, we have no desire to place limits on the freedoms and property rights of future space colonists. We seek to develop balanced rules to manage preservation and development – much like many terrestrial preservation regulations. We need to keep alive the memory of our past to guide our future. This means some sites should, perhaps, remain undisturbed for posterity, but others, perhaps, should be fully recorded before permitting development. The bottom line is that we have – for the first time ever – the opportunity to observe and preserve sites marking one of humankind’s most remarkable evolutions. It is an opportunity we would be foolish to waste.

  • For All Moonkind: While I agree entirely with your goals, I once again will state my fear that, trapped as we are under a UN regulatory bureaucracy because of the restrictions of the Outer Space Treaty, with no clear rules for establishing law or borders or limits on the power of that bureaucracy, any preservation rules established will end up acting to limit the freedoms and rights of future space colonists. Nothing you’ve said here changes that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *