First there was the menace of space debris, human waste in space such as non-operational satellites or old rocket stages. Debris can crash into space vehicles and instruments and damage them. NASA was forced to create the Orbital Debris Program Office to deal with the issue. But now NASA has issued guidelines to protect historic sites on the Moon, such as the Apollo 11 and 17 landing sites.
It was thought that man’s first footprints on the Moon would remain for a million years, but with the advent of space tourism, led by startups such as Virgin Galactic, the number of vehicles and people visiting the Moon is sure to rise, calling into question how long these historic sites will remain undisturbed. [Read more…]