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4 historical sites we should protect in addition to the moon

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Why stop at the site of the moon landing?

An archaeologist named Beth O’Leary is making the case that we should designate as an historical site the site of the Apollo 11 landing, where Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and the other guy touched down in 1969, and protect it as such. The only problem is that the site is located on the moon, which is going to make it very to hard for us to get up there and start protecting it.

"It's preserved now by the fact that it's so remote," O’Leary says, but eventually "we will go back to the moon." This is a fair point, and whether — and how — we should go about preserving the Apollo 11 landing site is certainly food for thought. And, while we’re doing all this thinking, here are a few other historical sites we could maybe try to preserve.

The spot in the atmosphere where the first manned spacecraft exited

In 1961, the Russian spacecraft Vostok 1, piloted by Yuri Gagarin, became the first manned ship to go to space. Assuming we still allow other spaceships to fly through the historic spot in the atmosphere through which it exited, that is wrong and should be stopped immediately.

The Viking 1 and 2 landing spots on Mars

This one is just a no-brainer. These space probes touched down on the Red Planet in 1975, and wherever they did that we should definitely rope up and put up a plaque or something the next time we get back there.


We have sent several probes to do flybys of Jupiter, and even a couple into the planet’s orbit (the unmanned spacecraft Galileo was the first, launching in 1989 and arriving in 1995). Landing on Jupiter is out of the question since it’s a giant ball of gas (this might not be the precise scientific explanation) but we should still recognize these historic missions and designate the entire a planet a Solar System Historical Site.

The rest of space

Where did Johannes Kepler look to when he was writing his laws of planetary motion? Space. What did Einstein look to while he was figuring out his theory of relativity? Space. Space has inspired countless scientists, mathematicians, and thinkers since time immemorial and if anybody does anything to mess it up, they are going to have to answer to us.

Should we be protecting historic sites in space? [PRI]