(WXYZ) — U.S. Senator Gary Peters' bill to permanently protect the Apollo landing sites on the moon has been signed into law.
The "One Small Step to Protect Human Heritage in Space Act" was introduced with Senator Ted Cruz and will enact legal protections for the Apollo sites by making NASA's preservation recommendations a requirement for future activities on the moon.
“The Apollo missions were not only one of the most important scientific achievements in human history – they represented to all of mankind what is possible when hardworking, dedicated people come together to accomplish a common goal,” Peters said in a release. “Over 400,000 people around the world made these missions possible, and their contributions must be protected for all mankind. I am proud that this bipartisan legislation to preserve and honor their achievements has been enacted into law.”
“As we go forward to the moon with the Artemis Program, NASA has been clear that we must do so sustainably,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a release. “As part of the Artemis Accords agreements signed with partner nations, NASA has emphasized that protecting historically significant sites is critical, and I applaud the leaders of this legislation for their commitment to ensuring that future lunar science and exploration is done in a safe and transparent manner.”
The legislation directs NASA to require future moon activities to follow its preservation recommendations, and honors the over 400,000 scientists, designers, and researchers who contributed to the Apollo programs, including NASA’s “Hidden Figures” like Katherine Johnson – an African American mathematician who worked at NASA for 35 years and calculated the trajectory of the Apollo 11 flight to the moon as well the trajectories for the spaceflights of astronauts John Glenn and Alan Shepard.