Broadcast 4033 Michelle Hanlon

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Guest:  Michelle Hanlon:  Topics:  Michelle talked about For All Moon Kind and the new Institute on Space Law and Ethics. We talked about both the OST and Artemis articles that apply to protecting historical sites plus govern our space contact. Our discussion included many subjects with multiple listener questions.

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We welcomed back to the show Michelle Hanlon for news and updates regarding the effort to protect lunar historical and heritage sites.  In addition, Michelle told us about the new For All Moonkind Institute on Space Law and Ethics.  You can check all of this out at www.forallmoonkind.org and www.forallmoonkind.org/institute.  As I have done with other Space Show program summaries, I direct you to the excellent short summary provided by the Tags for this program which have been repeated below for your convenience.  Don't forget to check out the websites above for additional and supplemental information related to this discussion.

Repeated Tags:  Michelle Hanlon, For All Moon Kind, Space Law and Ethics, Section 9 of the Artemis Accords, protecting lunar heritage sites, Major sites to protect include Apollo 11 plus the Russian Luna 2 & China Chang'e-4, Article 2 of the Outer Space Treaty (OST), no national appropriation, lunar burials, transitioning from single planet to multi-planet, From here Law and Ethics Institution, United Nations and space, Astrobotics, designated lunar location for human remains, vanity markets for the Moon, human precedents for leaving lunar traces, developing asteroids, lunar building committee, space as a global commons, developing the far side of the Moon, U.S. lunar authority, Article 6 of the OST, three controlling federal agencies including FCC, FAA and Dept. of Commerce, free space orbits, U.S. partisan divide, U.S. in a rough spot, Overview Effect, ethics for AI and robotics, no privacy in space, pregnancy and space ethics, children and space ethics, gene modification for space and ethics, U.S. space leadership, Rose Colored Glasses,  orbital debris, commercial cislunar and LEO development.

One area of the discussion I found to be most interesting was when I asked her if the lunar burial sites, i.e., Celestis missions, deserve historical or heritage site protection.  This started an interesting discussion that turned into a major part of the program as to what should be protected and who decides. Our guest was not certain about the protection of burial sites but then she pointed out NASA put Gene Shoemaker's ashes on the Moon so if they are protected, why not the remains of others?  This discussion led to additional interests in lunar protection from various cultures that believe the Moon to be sacred to their culture. Michelle did say that there was strong support to protect lunar heritage sites, but the problem was that most did not know how to do it. Don't miss all of the commentary on this subject.  Michelle suggested that we start by protecting just three lunar historical sites.  First, the Apollo 11 landing site.  Next, Russia's Luna 2 site.  The third site to protect was the landing site for the Chinese Chang'e-4 which landed on the far side of the Moon. 

Michelle talked about some of the prevailing accords and treaties with their governing clauses.  She included in this discussion Section 9 of the Artemis Accords, Article 2 of the OST and also Article 6 of the OST.   We also spoke to the role the UN plays in this debate plus the process the UN uses to make their work transparent for all.  From here, we went into talking about the For All Moonkind Institute for Space Law and Ethics. Michelle also spoke to the lack of awareness regarding these problems and issues within the general population with the need to increase education and awareness. 

Tony called from Pasadena with the suggestion to carve out specific places for certain types of lunar missions. For example, for space burials, he said they should go to just one spot on the Moon.  The same for other sorts of vanity missions.  Michelle said those ideas were part of the discussions being held on these issues.  Later, Roy asked about doing things on asteroids and if the asteroid should be protected.  Listen to how Michelle suggested asteroids might be different from the Moon, thus not needing any protection.  Let us know what you think about this perspective.  Please post your thoughts on our blog.

Tony's call was followed by a call from Marshall talking about protecting sites on the far side because it would not be viewable from Earth.  Michelle and Marshall talked about interest groups such as amateur astronomers finding out that radio telescopes on the far side possibly interfere with their observations.  As we can all tell, there are lots of different interests that see an event or mission to the Moon or elsewhere in space differently than others. The bottom line which Michelle talked about was to get started with something less controversial such as the three landing sites mentioned above. Eventually some of these more challenging sites or perspective will need to be worked out.

A listener asked Michelle about who has the authority to do any regulating on these issues.  She explained the three agencies in the US that share the authority, FAA, FCC and Dept of Commerce.  Note how she described the authority of each agency.  As we were moving toward the end of the program, we talked about ethics and robotics, AI, pregnancy in space plus childbirth.  These were all developing and ongoing issues and concerns.  When another listener brought up genetic modification, we spent more time talking about that one but it was also an ongoing debate subject to be ironed at some point in the future.  As we were about to end, I asked Michelle if she was satisfied with the pace of movement in ethical and site protection.  She was not satisfied so be sure to listen to all of what she said with regards to this question.  Before ending, she talked about the need for commercial and LEO development.

Please post your comments/questions on our blog for this program.  You can reach Michelle through me, the upcoming ISDC event, or her website address elsewhere in this summary.

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21 May 2023 Michelle Hanlon
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