Google Lunar XPRIZE Highlights Alarming Gap in Heritage Protection Laws

But the promise of private rovers on the Moon perhaps as early as this year spotlights the fact that there is nothing to stop anything or anyone from running over humankind’s first footprints on the Moon. That should alarm everyone.

For All Moonkind, Inc. (http://www.forallmoonkind.org) today announced that Co-Founder and space lawyer, Michelle Hanlon, has presented the nonprofit organization’s plan to obtain United Nations protection of the six Apollo Lunar Landing Sites at the Starship Congress 2017 in Monterey, California.

“The Google Lunar XPRIZE is a tremendous and welcome effort to jump start a commercial space economy,” said Hanlon. “But the promise of private rovers on the Moon perhaps as early as this year spotlights the fact that there is nothing to stop anything or anyone from running over humankind’s first footprints on the Moon. That should alarm everyone.”

For All Moonkind is implementing a three-pronged campaign to develop an international agreement to preserve human artifacts in space modeled on successful existing treaties like the World Heritage Convention. In addition to building a team of international space lawyers to draft the proposed agreement, For All Moonkind is working with the Lean&Mean Group on a pro bono basis to develop a global grassroots marketing campaign designed to raise awareness and ignite public support. Several advertisements were revealed today and they are available at http://www.forallmoonkind.org/advertising. The organization also plans continuous outreach to decisionmakers and policy leaders to build global support during the treaty-drafting process.

“A great part of our marketing and outreach effort involves education,” said Humaid Alshamsi, a space lawyer and Advisory Council member from the UAE. “We want to inspire the next generation of spacefarers by reminding them of the common heritage we share in the Apollo endeavors.”

“The future of humanity is in the stars,” says Hanlon. “There will be many firsts. But as we move to mine asteroids and put footprints on Mars, we need to preserve our heritage and our history so that we always remember, and draw strength from where we began.”

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