Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tranquility Base as an Archaeological Site

"Is the Apollo 11 Moon Landing Flag Still Standing?" (July 16, 2009)

"Is the U.S. flag planted on the moon 40 years ago still standing? That's just one of many questions researchers hope will be answered this year by new pictures of old Apollo landing sites.

"A plan to photograph the historic lunar locations with NASA's new Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), revealed yesterday on, should be a boon to lunar archaeologists who aim to solve some longstanding mysteries and also get a historic-landmark designation for the Apollo 11 touchdown site.

"The first moon landing by the Apollo 11 crew took place July 20, 1969.

"The new photos, expected in coming days, weeks and months, will be of keen interest to archaeologists involved in the Lunar Legacy Project. They contend that Apollo 11's Tranquility Base should be seen as an anthropological site and deserves preservation for all present and future inhabitants of the Earth...."

The article gives a brief overview of a project to study the Tranquility Base site: humanity's oldest outpost on another world.

Besides the historical and cultural importance of studying the site, I think that quite a bit could be learned about how materials age on the moon's surface. That could be valuable information, when new structures are planned and built there.

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