It’s been more than 40 years since man first landed on the Moon. The field of space exploration has seen many breakthroughs ever since, and landing on the Moon is still regarded as one of the most important milestone to be crossed to prove ones excellence in space exploration. As a continuation of this trend few more countries, including China, India, and Japan, are looking to put unmanned probes on the lunar surface in the next few years. Private space exploration companies are also expected to send probes in the moon. The X Prize Foundation announced that they want to put a robot on the moon by 2015. And NASA is worried that these unregulated space explorations may destroy its historical artifacts in the moon. To preserve its moon stuff, NASA has restated its previously released guidelines for future lunar explorers.
NASA has reasserted the 93-page document two days ago, which is a user’s manual for private space shuttles, and contains a spectacular amount of both tech-talk and legalese. NASA aims to preserve important heritage locations such as the Apollo landing and Ranger impact sites and its recommendations are intended to protect US artifacts on the lunar surface.
However, there is no law at place to force lunar explorers in abiding the guidelines. This can be regarded as merely a ‘request’ from NASA, which is wary of losing its historical artifacts. Hence, until there is a multilateral agreement, NASA has to rely on the courteousness of the explorers.