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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Moon Campers

This could be the year to plan for a truly unique camping experience the whole family can enjoy. Forget about the disgust and hassle of setting up a leaky tent, or the gas-guzzling expense and danger of piloting a bloated RV through a maze of crumbling highways and collapsing bridges that endanger the traveling public of this great nation. It's way past time to shed these outdated notions of outdoor recreation and embrace a whole new opportunity for adventure that's so far out of the box, it's out of this world! Thanks to the tireless efforts of two of our nation's lawmakers we may have a new opportunity to expand our horizons beyond our wildest imagination. Democratic Reps. Donna Edwards of Maryland and Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas have filed legislation that would establish a U.S. national park on the moon- “The Apollo Lunar Landing Sites National Historical Park.”

“As commercial enterprises and foreign nations acquire the ability to land on the Moon it is necessary to protect the Apollo Lunar landing sites for posterity,” reads H.R. 2617, otherwise known as the “Apollo Lunar landing Legacy Act.” They are proposing that NASA work with the Department of Interior and the National Park Service to manage access to, provide interpretation of, and help historically preserve all areas where astronauts and instrument connected with the 1969-72 Apollo space program touched the lunar surface. Edwards, a ranking member of the House Space Subcommittee, is concerned that artifacts left at six Apollo landing sites could be pirated away in the not-too-distant future.

We put a man on the moon so why not establish a National Park on the Moon? Just because we signed the United Nations 1967 “Outer Space Treaty” where we agreed not to subject outer space to use or occupation,” no big deal. That was then. We’re thinking about the future.

Our national parks are a uniquely American invention that protects endangered species, preserves historic sites and allows us to experience the outdoors. Unfortunately our National Parks are losing their relevance on Earth.  Younger generations of Americans who've grown up playing video games and watching horror movies have no patience for any distractions from the electronic world they inhabit. Children these days associate sitting around a campfire in the woods at night with a scene in a horror movie with a zombie in a hockey mask.

Populations of Endangered Species in our National Parks continue to dwindle despite the best available science. The historic sites in our National Parks are being destroyed by the jack-booted heel of rampant development and a bureaucratically engineered system of benign neglect.

A National Park on the Moon would contain no endangered species to restore, mission accomplished. Young people might be convinced to visit the Moon thinking it was a video game. The historic site of the Apollo Landings on the Moon could be preserved as a gift shop where Moon campers could buy plastic reproductions of space travel artifacts and obtain the required passes, permits and licenses to pay for the administration of our newest National Treasure.

Future generations of Moon campers will thank us for this.   




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