Perhaps this seems trivial, since it may not directly affect our planet, but if we ever colonize the Moon and mine its resources, the trace of human devastation will change sooner or later the surface of the moon, and will be even visible from Earth. Not to mention that any geological features still worth studying could be destroyed (we have the human impact on our planet in the last 200 years as an example).

Is there any feature with either scientific, cultural or historical value to be protected? Is any single spot on the moon open for mining/colonization?


It depends on what you mean by "protected".

The Outer Space Treaty, which has been signed by every spacefaring nation and most of the rest, states that the Moon cannot be claimed by any country. The Moon Treaty goes farther and, among other things, bans altering the environment of celestial bodies. However, unlike the Outer Space Treaty, the Moon Treaty hasn't been signed by any spacefaring country.

On a smaller scale, Tranquility Base, the landing site of Apollo 11, is on the historic-site registers of California and New Mexico, while NASA has requested that anyone visiting the Moon remain at least 75 meters away. The aforementioned Outer Space Treaty prohibits the US government from protecting the site (protection would be an assertion of sovereignty), while UNESCO isn't naming it a World Heritage Site because it only permits countries to nominate sites within their borders.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.