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back to article US Congress proposal: National Park will be FOUND ON MOON

The US has National Historical Parks in 26 states, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands, but its next such park could be located as far from US shores as any explorer has ever traveled – namely, the Moon. On Monday, Representatives Donna Edwards (D-MD) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) – both members of the House Science, Space, and …

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Pirate

Damnit

I mean, god damnit. How stupid can our Congress get? I can't believe that this bullshit is even being proposed when all the other legislation is broken and they can't even agree on where to piss. Jesus. Overboard with these fools.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Damnit

True. The current congress is pretty worthless, but I don't think this bill was written for anything more than political posturing. Based on the press that the lunar park has gotten, its intent was probably to drum up support for space exploration and to bring to light the lack of funding for NASA. The humorous side effect is that if for some reason this bill did actually pass, they'd most likely have to allocate funding for making it a reality.

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Thumb Up

Re: Damnit

Hell yeah! Hiring now: Park Ranger on the Moon! Cloning may be involved. Must stay for at least one year and leave beautiful girlfriend behind. Robot assistance provided for free.

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Pirate

Re: Damnit - Free Robot Assistance

Eh, is the free robot assistant there to help manage the park, or is it a replacement for the beautiful girlfriend left behind?

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Happy

Re: Damnit

Well someone has to empty the bins.

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Re: Damnit - Free Robot Assistance

You've not seen the movie "Moon" then?

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"I'm going and you can't stop me."

Until the USA has the capability (not just technical, but political will and money) of going back to the Moon and installing a velvet rope and posting notices, then maybe they stop the empty rhetoric.

If they take too much time to reinstall their mojo, they might find a nice Chinese lady with her own fence around the Apollo 11 site and selling admission tickets.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "I'm going and you can't stop me."

I for one would gladly pay the admission fee...

Although I really wish the UK would partner with China more on all things space...

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Re: "I'm going and you can't stop me."

Britain had a great space program way back when. Forget the Chinese.

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Mushroom

Eh??

Wouldn't the US therefore be claiming the landing sites as its own property? That might start something, I think.

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Unhappy

Re: Eh??

That's pretty much how we got the majority of this country, by taking it from others.

I think it would be hilarious if the Chinese went up there and just hucked everything they found into space and denied they found anything there.

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Black Helicopters

@ Don Jefe - Re: Eh??

>...

I think it would be hilarious if the Chinese went up there and just hucked everything they found into space and denied they found anything there.

<

Ah, but then the Chinese would be the only people who would really know if the moon landings were fake.

Can't have that. But you saw the bit about accepting donations; this will open a whole cool scenario.

Half the world pays for the Americans to go 'back' to the moon. With a few suitcase nukes. Which will wipe the 'landing sites' completely. This will then be a direct attack on the United States and Celestial Bodies of America as well as a world heritage site, by some terrorists from [insert flavour of the day here]. The United States Space Navy will see it as their duty to protect this new 'ground zero memorial' and will gallantly put garrisons of space marines there, claiming these sites as USCBA territory.

Yay!

N.B. I don't actually believe that the landings were a fake. But quite a lot of people do.

P.S. If you read this, Mr. Verhoeven and Mr. Levinson, we should talk about the rights; and it'll be OK if we call the 'space marines' something else to gag the nitwits of Games Workshop. Can we also try for Emma Watson in some cool role?

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Re: @ Don Jefe - Eh??

Images have been made of the Apollo landing sites, not just by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO, from NASA, so "suspect"), but by the Chinese Chang'e-2 probe (1.3m resolution, so good enough). Some of the LRO images show the LEM base, its shadow, and tracks from astronauts and rovers.

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Joke

Re: @ Don Jefe - Eh??

Yes, I realize they have images..

But don't you know those images are fake! Part of the still active program to keep the citizens hoodwinked. The conspiracy nutters would have a field day if the equipment was gone. It would be fun.

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WTF?

WTF?

Since when is the moon part of the territory of the USA?

Since when do they have any legal authority whatsoever over its surface?

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Re: WTF?

The USA is signatory to the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies (1967), which among other things places all celestial bodies and their orbits under international law, and prohibits any state from laying claim to any celestial body or part thereof. So technically the United States is in violation of this treaty by assigning parts of the moon as 'National' Park space.

In reality, however, this treaty, like any other treaty, law, right or constitutional principle, is only as good as the ability of its proponents to enforce it. Once again, the only absolute right, in space or on earth, is the right of might, whether we like it or not. Who has the guns makes the rules.

I know I cop a swath of downvotes every time I say this, but no amount of downvoting can change this simple fact, perhaps most succinctly expressed by Napoleon's famous quote, "Le bon Dieu est toujours du côté des gros bataillons!"

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Re: WTF?

"Since when is the moon part of the territory of the USA?"

Well, we DID plant a flag there (as opposed to just landing one there, which the USA also did!). In fact we planted 6 flags there.

Of course, being territories, they might want to be independent, you never know. They might not like the current "imperial rule" (not that we can do anything about it!).

Maybe there is a future in harvesting green cheese (aka Helium 3).

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Boffin

Re: WTF?

Actually, I think the relevant part of the treaty is Article VI, which says: "the activities of non-governmental entities in outer space ... shall require authorization and continuing supervision by the appropriate State Party to the Treaty".

So if you're based in America, any foray you make into outer space (including the Moon) is subject to US law. Likewise if you're based in, say, France, then it's subject to French law.

What this measure would do, if passed, would mean that any US-based operator that landed on the Moon and then interfered with these sites could get into trouble. That's all it means. In principle it would have no effect on operators based in other countries, although in practice it would be a brave astronaut who put that to the test...

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Happy

Re: WTF?

Upvote for veti.

My first thought on reading this was 'how the hell does this gel with the treaties on outer space being the shared heritage of humankind?' You answer that very elegantly, and I believe correctly. Cheers!

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Re: WTF?

Given the tendency of the US government to claim anything they have any remote connection to as "theirs" since WWII, I'm not surprised.

What I really wonder is why the real astronauts who risked life and limb (et.al. it took a huge team to pull it off...) to get there aren't revolting against the Kindergarden Puppies who try and play with their achievements and score some pinkie points nowadays.

The ancient rule is "you have what you can keep". The US is rapidly losing just about everything outside their own territory, and they claim bits of the MOON?!! Talk about conceited ostrichism...

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Re: WTF?

Try and stop them.

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Happy

Re: WTF?

"The USA is signatory to the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies (1967), which among other things places all celestial bodies and their orbits under international law, and prohibits any state from laying claim to any celestial body or part thereof. So technically the United States is in violation of this treaty by assigning parts of the moon as 'National' Park space."

True. This is a real cold war relic.

At some point property rights will need to be worked out for bodies off Earth.

An interesting case would be if someone finds a really valuable asteroid. Salvage? No, because no one can own anything of "outer space."

ElReg readers are on whole pretty good at understanding the difference between the world as we would like it to be and how it is.

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Re: WTF?

'An interesting case would be if someone finds a really valuable asteroid. Salvage? No, because no one can own anything of "outer space."'

Is that true, it says no state can claim part of a celestial body, it doesn't as far as I know say an individual or indeed company can't. It may also mean the Queen could lay claim to the moon which would make it British territory as part of the Crown Estates, but that's probably cheating.

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Thumb Up

Re: WTF?

Actually, for a birthday when I was about 9 or 10 I was given a ‘Lunar deed’ by my dad, apparently giving me legal ownership of certain acre of the moon, I may have to find this and either hope its smack bang in the middle of the bit the Americans want, or at least include it in my will, for when the rest of the world starts buying up the surface!

I will do them a cheap deal, think about it NASA, what’s an extra $1Billion on top of the budget for this anyway?

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Re: WTF?

Flag or not, nobody's living there permanent, so meh!

Think Heinlein covered this a few times?

+++++Free Luna!+++++

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Well, we DID plant a flag there

Fair enough. The discussion is daft, but if I had to choose between USA, Russia or China interfering with the moon, I would choose USA. Best of all would be British ownership, and-

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Paris Hilton

Re: WTF? @ Maharg

You do realise that's just a novelty deed?

Not actually legal in anyway, shape or form.

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Facepalm

Re: WTF?

America believes it is the world, it controls everything. So why not expand dominion to all the stars above?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: WTF?

"So if you're based in America, any foray you make into outer space (including the Moon) is subject to US law. Likewise if you're based in, say, France, then it's subject to French law."

Interesting, but which part of the US? Can someone say, marry 2 women on the moon? 2 of their sisters even? While smoking a big fat spliff? Maybe only for medicinal purposes? How old would they have to be to be able to drink at their wedding? To have sex? Would they be arrested for sodomy on a particular part of the moon and not others? Would certain parts of the moon be so pig ignorant that it didn't exist at all seeing as it's quite obviously several thousand years old?

Joking aside, I suppose they mean federal law as opposed to state law as the above would be. Oh well, I had fun anyway.

Oh, I missed one, could they build a casino on the moon?

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Re: WTF?

On a more cynical note (not trying to diminish the other replies that were quite good, by the way):

Since when has the US cared about those minor pedestrian details?

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MJI
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Re: WTF - the Queen

I wonder if they would take NT membership cards?

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Happy

Re: WTF?

THANK YOU for introducing some sanity into this thread, good sir.

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Re: WTF?

Presumably the USSR would then claim low earth orbit as theirs - which might have bigger commercial implications

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Alien

Re: WTF?

> America believes it is the world, it controls everything. So why not expand dominion to all the stars above?

As soon as they do that, the Washington skies will be full of big yellow spaceships that hang in the sky in exactly the same way that bricks don't.

Vogsphere 1, USA 0.

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Happy

Re: WTF?

I wouldn't have much problem with USA proclaiming such and such piece of space land a National Park (as long as it will *stay* national park and not a new mine for Helium 3.

One requirement though: a National Park has to have rangers, on site, at all times.

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Re: WTF?

"The USA is signatory to the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies (1967)"

But then the US hasn't ratified or signed the Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies. (15 nations have ratified, 4 have signed but not ratified).

Anyway, maybe Dennis Hope has already sold these plots via his website, in which case they might need a compulsory purchase order first :)

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WTF?

The USA has been gone long enough to have lost all rights to try and 'protect' anything up there, while I am sure most nations will respect the sites, the arrogance of the USA is undeniable in this, they are not world police, and certainly not the solar systems police...

Now if the UN decided to give the sites protected status, that is a different matter...

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"Now if the UN decided to give the sites protected status, that is a different matter..."

Maybe they could be voted UNESCO (Out of this) World Heritage Sites

That would make a lot of sense (and is not at odds with the National Park idea), as these sites are a monument to one of mankind's greatest achievements.

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I think they need to talk to the U.N. before they make plans for the gift shop and the t-shirts: "My country went to the Moon and all I got was this lousy t-shirt."

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Pass

So, I wonder if they will take my National Park Pass to visit there...

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Re: Pass

I wonder if it will have to be handicap accessible?

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Thumb Up

@ Don Jefe - Re: Pass

>

I wonder if it will have to be handicap accessible?

<

Of course, and the moonrovers will have to be retrofitted with these reversing bleepers.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Pass

"So, I wonder if they will take my National Park Pass to visit there..."

No, they will sell you an enhanced pass though that will. The caveat is that the pass must be placed securely on the windshield. I don't know how your car will run in space though unless it is electric. Oh, be sure to keep the ventilation system off; lunar dust is not nice. Be sure to get the car washed before returning too.

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Happy

Re: @ Don Jefe - Pass

lol @ reversing bleepers in a vacuum

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Devil

@ Martin Budden - Re: @ Don Jefe - Pass

Shush, don't embarrass the Health & Safety authorities . . .

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Coat

Re: @ Don Jefe - Pass

Quote: 'Of course, and the moonrovers will have to be retrofitted with these reversing bleepers.'

And how exactly are they going to hear the bleepers on the Moon?

Remember, in Space; no one can hear you reversing.....

IGMC

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Mushroom

@ Boothy - Re: @ Don Jefe - Pass

Oh my, you caught me out. I am sure everyone is now suitably impressed by your superior scientific expertise. I'm so sorry.

Unless, of course, you just wanted to explain my sarcastic comment to the ElReg readership, who might be slightly miffed by the level of knowledge that you credit them with, in an altruistically motivated, misguided attempt to make even them understand the joke.

Then I'm not sorry but rather miffed too; I can wreck my jokes all by myself if I feel the need for it, thank you very much.

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Facepalm

So what happens...

... when Salvage 1 gets there and starts bringing bits back to flog off?

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Not a bad idea...

...and then someone point out to Congress that National Parks are supposed to have Rangers to make sure nothing bad happens at (or to) the National Parks and force them to send someone up there to take up the position.

Quotes:

"National Park Service Rangers are among the uniformed employees charged with protecting and preserving areas set aside in the National Park System by the United States Congress and/or the President of the United States." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Park_Service_Ranger)

"Rangers were royal officials employed to "range" through the countryside providing law and order (often against poaching). Their duties were originally confined to seeing that the Forest Law was enforced in the outlands, or purlieus, of the royal forests. Their duties corresponded in some respects with that of a mounted Forester.[1]" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Park_ranger)

Yeah, I know - but someone with better access to US paperwork can probably trace them back to source material.

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