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  Tranquility Base: Historic Property Designation

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Author Topic:   Tranquility Base: Historic Property Designation
Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-30-2010 11:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The California Office of Historic Preservation voted Friday to extend state historical resource status to Tranquility Base and more specifically, 106 objects left behind by the crew of Apollo 11.
Recording of Tranquility Base as an Historical Resource:

No humans have since returned to Tranquility Base following the departure of the Apollo 11 crew in 1969 to document the current conditions of the site. Under a $23,000 research enhancement grant from NASA through the New Mexico Space Grant Consortium, the artifacts and features left behind by Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, Jr. were documented, inventoried, and mapped through archival research. Research was carried out at the Johnson Space Center and Lunar Planetary Institute in Houston, Texas and at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, National Archives, and NASA Headquarters in Washington D.C. Subsequently, under a $20,000 Federal grant from the National Space Grant Consortium, an educational website was published and is continually maintained.

Based on the extensive federally-funded research, Tranquility Base has been recognized as an historical resource with significance on the national and state level. While a nomination to the National Register of Historic Places and World Heritage Site programs is planned, the current level of recording is focused on the important role of the State of California and most of the objects have a connection to California. Therefore, these [Department of Parks and Recreation] forms document Tranquility Base as a significant cultural resource and is hereby nominated to the California Register of Historical Resources. No other state has previously listed Tranquility Base on its state register.


Credit: Lunar Legacy Project/U.S. Geological Survey

The move is a part of a multi-state effort to award National Historic Landmark status -- and then ultimately United Nations World Heritage Site status -- to the Apollo 11 landing site. Similar votes are expected soon in Texas, New Mexico, Georgia and Florida.

The status applies to the discarded hardware and equipment only, not the land on which they sit. The Outer Space Treaty of 1967 prevents nations from claiming sovereignty over the Moon, but nations retain ownership of the objects sent there.

The 106+ objects now with California State Historical Resource status:

  1. Apollo 11 Lunar Module Descent Stage (1)
  2. U.S. 3' x 5' Flag (1)
  3. Laser Ranging Retroreflector (LRRR) (1)
  4. Passive Seismic Experiment (PSE) (1)
  5. Neil Armstrong's Apollo Portable Life Support System (PLSS), Model A7L (1)
  6. Neil Armstrong's Apollo Space Boots, Model A7L (2)
  7. Edwin (Buzz) Aldrin Jr.'s Apollo Portable Life Support System (PLSS), Model A7L (1)
  8. Edwin (Buzz) Aldrin Jr.'s Apollo Space Boots, Model A7L (2)
  9. Empty Food Bags (2+)
  10. A Silicon Disc Carrying Statements from Presidents Nixon, Johnson, Kennedy, Eisenhower, and from Leaders of 73 Other Nations. (1)
  11. A Gold Replica of an Olive Branch, Traditional Symbol of Peace (1)
  12. Mission Patch from Apollo I of Virgil I. Grissom, Edward H. White 11, and Roger B. Chaffee. (1)
  13. Commemorative Plaque attached to the Lunar Module Descent Leg. "Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the Moon. July 1969, A.D. We came in peace for all mankind." The plaque is signed by the Apollo 11 crew and President Richard M. Nixon. (1)
  14. TV Camera (1)
  15. Spring Scales (2)
  16. Tongs (1)
  17. Small Scoop (1)
  18. Scongs (1)
  19. Bulk Sample Scoop (1)
  20. Trenching Tool (1)
  21. Camera (Hasselblad El Data) (1)
  22. Armrests (4)
  23. Mesa Bracket (1)
  24. Solar Wind Composition Staff (1)
  25. Handle of Contingency Lunar Sample Return Container (1)
  26. Medals Commemorating Two Dead Cosmonauts (2)
  27. Document Sample Box Seal (1)
  28. Storage container (empty) (1)
  29. Hasselblad pack (1)
  30. Film Magazines (2+)
  31. Filter, Polarizing (1 )
  32. Remote Control Unit (PLSS) (2)
  33. Defecation Collection Device (4)
  34. Overshoes, Lunar (2)
  35. Covers, Pga Gas Connector (2)
  36. Kit, Electric waist, Tether (1)
  37. Bag Assy, Lunar Equip.conveyor & waist tether (1)
  38. Conveyor assy, Lunar Equipment (1)
  39. Bag, Deployment, Life line (1)
  40. Bag, Deployment, Lunar equipment conveyor (1)
  41. Life line, Lt. wt. (1)
  42. Tether, Waist, EVA (4)
  43. Food Assembly, LM (4 man days) (1)
  44. TV subsystem, Lunar (1)
  45. Lens, TV wide angle (1)
  46. Lens, TV lunar day (1)
  47. Cable assembly, TV (100 ft.) (1)
  48. Adapter, SRC/OPS (2)
  49. Cannister, ECS LIOH (2)
  50. Urine collection assembly, small (2)
  51. Urine collection assembly, large (2)
  52. Bag, Emesis (4)
  53. Container assembly, Disposal (1)
  54. Filter, oxygen bacterial (1)
  55. Container, PLSS Condensate (1)
  56. Antenna, S-Band (1)
  57. Cable,S-Band antenna (1)
  58. Bag, Lunar Equipment Transfer (1)
  59. Pallet assembly #1 (1)
  60. Central Station (1)
  61. Pallet Assembly #2 (1)
  62. Primary structure assembly (1)
  63. Hammer (1)
  64. Gnomon (Excludes mount) (1)
  65. Tripod (1)
  66. Handle/cable assembly (cord for tv camera) (1)
  67. York mesh packing material (1)
  68. SWC bag (extra) (1)
  69. Core tube bits (2)
  70. SRC seal protectors (2)
  71. Environmental sample containers "O" rings (2+)
  72. Apollo Lunar Surface Close-up Camera (1)
  73. Lunar equipment conveyor (1)
  74. ECS canister (1)
  75. ESC bracket (1)
  76. OPS brackets (2+)
  77. Left hand side stowage compartment (1)
  78. Footprint
  79. Extension Handle
  80. Stainless steel cover (9 x 7 5/8 inches x 1/16 inch thick)
  81. Plastic covering for Flag
  82. 8 foot aluminum tube
  83. 2 + retaining pins for flag and staff storage
  84. Insulating blanket
  85. Small aluminum capsule
Related news coverage:
  • Putting the moon in the state's orbit
    Los Angeles Times
    There are countless places on Earth that have been awarded protection to preserve their historic or cultural importance. The moon has none. But that may be about to change.
  • Discarded Apollo 11 items left on the moon get California historical status
    Los Angeles Times
    More than 100 items left behind on the moon by the Apollo 11 astronauts were named a California historical resource by a state preservation panel today.
  • To California, Moon Junk Is State Treasure
    The New York Times
    In one small step for preservation and one giant leap of logic, the official historical commission of California voted Friday to protect two small urine collection devices, four space-sickness bags and dozens of other pieces of detritus, all currently residing nearly a quarter of a million miles from the state.

Leon Ford
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Posts: 309
From: Shreveport, LA, United States
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-30-2010 02:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Leon Ford   Click Here to Email Leon Ford     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Pretty silly. Just want to make the news.

moorouge
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From: U.K.
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posted 01-30-2010 03:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I notice that item 78 is listed as "Footprint". Which one? Presumably all the others are collectable and can be collected and sold. Wonder how much they'd be on eBay?

Apollo Redux
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From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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posted 01-30-2010 04:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Apollo Redux   Click Here to Email Apollo Redux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'd really like to know how you can preserve something that you have no means of reaching, and thus enforce the preservation.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 01-30-2010 04:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, just for example, the Google Lunar X Prize will, over the next several years, see private companies and teams from around the world attempt to land a rover on the Moon. A bonus "heritage prize" is offered for the team that can send back imagery of legacy hardware.

Should National Landmark status be granted, then, at least in theory, any U.S. team that disrupts or damages Tranquility Base (for example, by rolling over the boot prints near Eagle's ladder) could be held legally responsible. If UN World Heritage Site status is granted, then the same could (in theory) apply to any team, regardless of where on Earth they are based.

SpaceAholic
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From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-30-2010 04:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think only signatories to the World Heritage treaty are obligated to protect the sites (not all countries have signed/ratified).

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-30-2010 04:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Interesting point. As of April 2009, there were 186 states to the World Heritage Convention.

mark plas
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From: the Netherlands
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 01-31-2010 02:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mark plas   Click Here to Email mark plas     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What are the Apollo Space Boots?

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-31-2010 08:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The EVA boots, or lunar overboots, that Armstrong and Aldrin wore while on the surface covering their PGA boots.

mark plas
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From: the Netherlands
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posted 01-31-2010 09:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mark plas   Click Here to Email mark plas     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well the overshoes are number 34 on the list.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-31-2010 09:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Good catch, so its either a double listing or perhaps a spare set of overshoes were carried and then jettisoned?

Dave Clow
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From: South Pasadena, CA 91030
Registered: Nov 2003

posted 01-31-2010 12:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dave Clow   Click Here to Email Dave Clow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So I guess this kills my bid for Neil's PLSS?

driftingtotheright
unregistered
posted 01-31-2010 09:08 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What is item #35: "Covers, Pga Gas Connector (2)"?

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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From: Toms River, NJ,USA
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posted 01-31-2010 09:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by moorouge:
Wonder how much they'd be on eBay?
Thanks for the idea - unless it's really late and I can't see straight, I don't see the Apollo 11 ascent stage listed. (Starts calling acrylic manufacturers...)

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-31-2010 10:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by driftingtotheright:
What is item #35: "Covers, Pga Gas Connector (2)"?
If I understand the donning/doffing instructions for the A7L, the Pressure Garment Assembly (PGA) gas connectors, otherwise recognized as the fittings on the front of the suit, were protected by a cover that was removed during donning.
quote:
Originally posted by Hart Sastrowardoyo:
...I can't see straight, I don't see the Apollo 11 ascent stage listed.
As the ascent stage is not located at Tranquility Base, it wouldn't be covered by this effort...

Matt T
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From: Chester, Cheshire, UK
Registered: May 2001

posted 02-01-2010 06:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Matt T   Click Here to Email Matt T     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If ever there was a week when a 'No Walking On This Piece Of Moon' sign was redundant... Beautiful timing.

Space Cadet Carl
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From: Lake Orion, Michigan
Registered: Feb 2006

posted 02-01-2010 07:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Space Cadet Carl   Click Here to Email Space Cadet Carl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Everyone thought the wreck of the Titanic was unreachable and eternally protected from scavengers too. The French expedition to the Titanic site in 1988 proved that theory to be a huge falsehood. They recovered tons of stuff from the Titanic wreck and sold it. Protecting Tranquility Base is not a silly idea whatsoever. Makes perfect sense to me.

Fra Mauro
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From: Maspeth, NY
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posted 02-01-2010 09:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I like the symbolism, since I am a history teacher and want to see sites preserved but from practical standpoint, since no American will set foot there again, it is pointless.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-01-2010 10:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Fra Mauro:
...since no American will set foot there again, it is pointless.
Okay, forget about setting their feet there for the moment, what about sending their rovers there, or slamming their science instruments into there?

thump
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From: washington dc usa
Registered: May 2004

posted 02-01-2010 10:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for thump   Click Here to Email thump     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Isn't everything left on the moon by NASA property of the Smithsonian?

jimsz
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posted 02-01-2010 10:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jimsz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm still confused on how California can enact legislation for something outside of it's borders that is binding on anyone, anywhere. Especially when the relationship to any of this has little or nothing to do with California.

A $23,000 grant from NASA. The irony that there will be a news conference about the lack of funding available.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-01-2010 11:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by thump:
...property of the Smithsonian?
I believe so, but I don't think this is a question of ownership, but rather protection of the objects from being disturbed where they sit.

bobzz
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Posts: 97
From: Batavia, Illinois
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 02-01-2010 11:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for bobzz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jimsz:
I'm still confused on how California can enact legislation for something outside of it's borders that is binding on anyone, anywhere.
...that's California for ya!

Leon Ford
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Posts: 309
From: Shreveport, LA, United States
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-01-2010 11:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Leon Ford   Click Here to Email Leon Ford     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If we can't get up there to protect it, it should be open to whoever gets there. I think our rights to that stuff ended today. Maybe the Smithsonian can buy some of the stuff from China on eBay when they bring it back. Sad day.

Aztecdoug
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From: Huntington Beach
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posted 02-01-2010 12:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Aztecdoug   Click Here to Email Aztecdoug     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jimsz:
I'm still confused on how California can enact legislation for something outside of it's borders that is binding on anyone, anywhere.
Well, with Ex-Gov. Jerry "Moonbeam" Brown running for governor again, never overlook the ability for California voters or government to enact the absurd.

jdcupp
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posted 02-01-2010 02:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jdcupp   Click Here to Email jdcupp     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What California and many others have forgotten is that all that stuff was already "salvaged" in the 70's by Andy Griffith.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-13-2010 05:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
  • Las Cruces Sun News
    Space artifacts get historic designation
    The artifacts left behind at Tranquility Base have been designated as historic properties by the New Mexico Historic Preservation Division. This makes New Mexico the second state in the union to approve such a designation. California approved a similar resolution in January.
  • The Associated Press
    NM designates moon artifacts as cultural property
    The Cultural Properties Review Committee made the designation official last week when it approved a nomination prepared by the committee's vice chairwoman, Beth O'Leary; students at New Mexico State University; and the Apollo 11 Preservation Task Force.

spacekiddo
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From: The Netherlands
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posted 04-12-2011 02:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spacekiddo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I really hope that one day the original Apollo landing site(s) will be revisited. It must be very special to see the first footsteps again that Neil and Buzz left behind. I wonder if it will ever happen, at least when I'm still alive (57 now).

Did the US protect these landing sites internationally by law, so no one can ever disturb or ruin them?

Editor's note: Threads merged.

moorouge
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From: U.K.
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posted 04-12-2011 02:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I thought that the Moon was 'international' territory and, as such, no nation has any claim on any part of it. If this is the case, then Tranquility Base can only be protected by international agreement through the United Nations.

Editor's note: Threads merged.

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