Tag Archives: Apollo

International group forms to get UN protection of Apollo sites

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.

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The difficult task of legally preserving the Apollo lunar sites

Link here.

While I heartily agree that these historic sites should be preserved, if you read the article you will notice how the focus with these people is not the future, but preserving relics of the past. I say we don’t need more memorials. The best memorial for Apollo 11 would be thriving city on the Moon, even if it trampled on Tranquility Base.

Note also that the restrictions imposed by the Outer Space Treaty once again make things worse. Under the treaty, there is no way for the U.S. to reasonably preserve these American historical sites, without first getting the approval of the UN. The result? I guarantee that any arrangement we manage to work out will almost certainly restrict the freedoms of future space colonists. This not a good thing, and it certainly isn’t something we here on Earth should be doing to the brave people who will someday want to build new civilizations on other worlds.

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Auction of silver medals flown on Apollo brings in $800K

Coins in space: An auction in May of silver medals carried by astronauts on a variety of Apollo missions has brought in nearly $800,000.

Robbins medallions were minted by the Robbins Co. of Attleboro, Mass. These .925 fine silver medals have been produced for every manned U.S. mission since Apollo 7. The medals were paid for by the crews and available for purchase only by NASA astronauts at the time. Medals that were actually flown on missions are especially coveted.

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Russian proposes private lunar satellite to prove Apollo landings

A Russian public relations specialist has raised by crowd-funding more than a million rubles to build a lunar-orbiting satellite to take high resolution images of the Apollo landing sites to prove they happened.

I like it, but recognize that a million rubles is only about $15k. He will need a lot more to get the satellite built and launched.

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Bras in space: How a bra company made the spacesuits the astronauts wore on the Moon.

Bras in space: How a bra company made the spacesuits the astronauts wore on the Moon.

Fascinating interview, though I find it humorous how it is considered absurd and unlikely for a private company that makes bras to make these spacesuits. In truth, when the Apollo missions happened, Americans had no doubt that ordinary private businesses were the best places to go to get something novel and creative done.

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The microfilmed miniature bibles that flew to the moon during Apollo have become the center of a custody dispute between the state of Texas and the author who wrote their history.

The microfilmed miniature bibles that flew to the moon during Apollo have become the center of a custody dispute between the state of Texas and the author who wrote their history.

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New analysis of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter images suggests that most of the American flags planted at the Apollo landing sites are still standing.

New analysis of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter images appears to prove that most of the American flags planted at the Apollo landing sites are still standing.

Sadly, the analysis also seems to prove what Buzz Aldrin reported, that the Apollo 11 American flag was blown over by the exhaust from the ascent stage when the astronauts took off.

I wonder if anyone from the United States will ever have a chance to pick it up?

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What is the current state of the six American flags planted on the Moon by Apollo astronauts? One NASA engineer takes a look.

What is the current state of the six American flags planted on the Moon by Apollo astronauts? One NASA engineer takes a look.

James Fincannon has been an important contributor here at Behind the Black, sending me some interesting tips from time to time that have resulted in some good posts, such as this one about caves on the Moon.

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Apollo astronaut has been forced to return camera to NASA

Apollo astronaut Edgar Mitchell has been forced to return to NASA the camera he used on the Moon.

[He had been allowed to keep the camera after his return in accordance with] a practice within the 1970’s astronaut office that allowed the Apollo astronauts to keep equipment that hadn’t been intended to return from the moon so long as the items did not exceed weight limitations and were approved by management.

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