Broadcast 2994 Michelle Hanlon

  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • The Space Foundation Conference

The Space Foundation Conference

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Guest:  Michelle Hanlon;  Topics:  The preservation of our human heritage in space, preserving Apollo lunar landing sites & more.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding specific Space Show programs & guest(s) to the Space Show blog which is part of archived program on our website,   Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See   

We welcomed Michelle Hanlon to the program for this 87 minute two part discussion of how best to protect our human heritage in space by starting with the Apollo lunar landing sites.  During the first segment of the program, Ms. Hanlon discussed the reasons we need to preserve the lunar landing sites and the strategy of her group to accomplish this.  For All Moonkind ( believes creating an international treaty through the UN COPUOS is the preferred route for doing this.  We talked about many of the issues involved in establishing a new treaty.  In addition, we looked at options including the modification of the Outer Space Treaty.  Don't miss what our guest had to say about alternatives to an international treaty.  Michelle referenced the work done by Beth O'Leary regarding the NASA guidelines but they are not enforceable because ownership of the lunar landing sites is prohibited by the Outer Space Treaty.  This was one of the main reasons cited for wanting to develop a new international treaty for the preservation of lunar and as you will hear later in the show, solar system historical sites, both by government and private actors. 

Listeners asked Michelle several email questions.  For example, Terry in Cleveland asked how close someone might be allowed to go to a lunar landing site in the future or would the sites need to be enclosed for protection?  B John wanted to know about possible backlash against the US since the US is not always well liked around the world.  Don't miss what Michelle said in response to his question.  Another listener asked about lessons learned from the ESA Code of Voluntary Behavior which did not work out, plus the Law of the Sea Treaty which has been controversial and many countries including the US have not ratified it.  Michelle had much to say about both so don't miss her comments.  Clearly they are doing what they can to understand the problems with these earlier treaty or nonbinding agreement efforts to avoid the same or similar pitfalls with their work on a new international treating for space historical site protection.  Before the end of our first segment, Linda sent in a note asking if the protections might be extended to hardware left or crashed on Mars or elsewhere in the solar system.  The answer was yes but don't miss all of what Michelle said about this issue. 

We started the second segment with a discussion about a race for time given it would likely be a race for time with private actors being able to get to the Moon and maybe a landing site or two.  One approach Michelle mentioned was to secure an agreement from the private actors that have the potential to land on the Moon to self-regulate regarding the Apollo lunar landing sites using the NASA guidelines as a model. 

I stopped the discussion to read the second segment sponsorship message but when I got to the one about Celestis, I asked Michelle if they had thought about how lunar burial landing sites might be protected or even protection demanded by those sending remains of their loved one to the Moon.  While this was certainly a futuristic discussion of what might be, I personally think that there might very well be a successful commercial business for lunar burial as transportation prices come down.  Asking how the landing place for the ashes will be treated or making sure they all land in a type of lunar cemetery may not be that farfetched.  Our guest had not thought about that yet but maybe she will mention it to her group and it will get some attention if not now, down the road. 

Listeners asked Michelle what they could do to be helpful. She talked about joining her organization and supporting. For details, visit  If you have other ideas for offering support, let her know.  Later in this segment, Raymond asked her that if someday at a lunar hab or settlement construction site, the famous golf ball was found would it stop construction like finding bones on a construction site here in the states do with construction.  Michelle said probably, at least for a few days, as they would want to study the golf ball, the trajectory, etc.  She did not think it would really slow down a project that much or terminate a project but it might add to the costs.  I suggested they may have to build an enclosed golf ball shrine for it as part of the finished project.  Another topic that came up before our program ended was the possible development of a space museum.  Where would such a museum be and would the lunar items possibly placed in the museum still be owned by the US or somehow transferred to museum or humanity ownership.  Remember, right now by treaty, the launching state owns what it launched to space. 

I believe it is important to preserve the lunar landing sites as they are historical.  I am most interested in seeing how this develops and how preservation will be enforced.  By the way, throughout the show we did talk about enforcement and Michelle suggested some ways to technically supervise enforce and even to possible refrain from issuing future launch licenses to violators. Our Space Show family will definitely follow Michelle and her work to see how this plays out but again, I think it important to preserve and protect the very historical lunar landing sites.


Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog.  You can reach Michelle Hanlon through me or her website above.




Preserving Apollo landing sites on the Moon

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09 Oct 2017 Michelle Hanlon
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