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A national park on the Moon...

July 12, 2013 - Paul Giannamore
House Resolution 2617: To Establish the Apollo Lunar Landing Sites National Historical Park on the Moon should be dead on arrival from the desks of its sponsors, Democrats Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas and Donna Edwards of Maryland.

Admittedly, the sight of Queen Family Trucksters driving around on the Moon with a bunch of Clark Griswolds behind the wheel should scare anyone who cares about the Moon and the space-race artifacts, the left-over pieces of experiments, descent stages of LEMs and a couple of GM’s best products, the Lunar Rovers. Then again, it’s not going to happen soon, unless the lady reps know something about American space exploration that most of us don’t.

It’s not like anyone but maybe Richard Branson or Elon Musk will have the money or the capability to go to the Moon in the next 20 years, and it would be easy to just tell them, “El — can we call you El — and Rich, now don’t go touching any of that American space stuff, fellas. It’s not yours.”

We don’t even haul our own astronauts as a nation on commutes to and from the International Space Station, let alone know if any plans to return to the Moon will occur. And if private industry returns to the Moon before the national government does, who will enforce the law? Will we have to send a Lunar Cop up there with Sir Richard or Mr. Musk? Perhaps Sean Connery can resume his role from “Outlander.”

The fear, as with anything remotely governmental, is somehow, this well-intentioned bill to prevent putting the Sea of Tranquility Target Plaza right over the good old Eagle landing site will result in real money being spent now.

For instance, the bill calls for development of a plan and an application for world historic site status from UNESCO. Sounds like we would be at the least paying civil servants time and efforts on this lunarcy. And, given the government’s willingness to spread the wealth, there would probably be some lunar urban planner or park planner somewhere who would offer his consultancy for a fee. Or we’d hire a couple such folks for the Department of the Interior. And this from Section 6, which speaks of agreements and acceptance of donations “to provide visitor services and administrative facilities within reasonable proximity to the Historical Park.

And how about Section 7, the management agreement between NASA (the administrator) and Interior (the Secretary), giving primary park management to NASA outlining the relationship between NASA and Interior regarding the Lunar park:

“Responsibilities of the Administrator shall specifically include--

(1) ensuring proper monitoring of the Apollo lunar landing sites;

(2) managing access to the sites, including through coordination with other spacefaring nations and entities; and

(3) in conjunction with the Director of the Smithsonian Institution, ensuring an accurate cataloguing of items in the Historical Park.

(b) Other Agencies - The Secretary and the Administrator shall consult with other agencies, as needed, to effectively carry out management of the Historical Park.”

Sounds like a place to squirrel away money or find an excuse to ressurect the space program from a back door — somebody’s got to go up there and be Mr. Ranger to prevent all the Lunar Yogi Bears from taking all the pickanick baskets from the Apollos.

Too early. Too goofy. Too much temptation to hide cash and establish a whole bunch of job opportunities for federal relatives.

Nice try, but until somebody actually is getting ready to launch, this idea needs to be kept in the hangar.


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