NASA offers guidelines to protect historic sites on the Moon

May 24, 2012

(Phys.org) -- NASA and the X Prize Foundation of Playa Vista, Calif., announced Thursday the Google Lunar X Prize is recognizing guidelines established by NASA to protect lunar historic sites and preserve ongoing and future science on the moon. The foundation will take the guidelines into account as it judges mobility plans submitted by 26 teams vying to be the first privately-funded entity to visit the moon.

NASA recognizes that many spacefaring nations and commercial entities are on the verge of landing spacecraft on the moon. The agency engaged in a cooperative dialogue with the and the Google Lunar X Prize teams to develop the recommendations. NASA and the next generation of lunar explorers share a common interest in preserving humanity's first steps on another and protecting ongoing science from the potentially damaging effects of nearby landers.

NASA assembled the guidelines using data from previous lunar studies and analysis of the unmanned lander Surveyor 3's samples after landed nearby in 1969. Experts from the historic, scientific and flight-planning communities also contributed to the technical recommendations. The guidelines do not represent mandatory U.S. or international requirements. provided them to help planners preserve and protect historic lunar artifacts and potential science opportunities for future missions.

The Google Lunar X Prize will award $30 million total in prizes. First place will go to a privately-funded team that builds a rover which lands successfully on the moon, explores it by moving at least one third of a mile and returns high-definition video and imagery to Earth.

Additional bonus prizes will be awarded for photographing a Lunar Heritage, Apollo or Surveyor spacecraft site. The contest ends whenever all prizes are claimed or at the end of 2015.

Explore further: A guide to the 2014 Neptune opposition season

More information: To view the full set of guidelines, visit: go.nasa.gov/JDYo9v

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Future lunar landing sites mapped out

Jan 07, 2011

Here’s the map of the future: a look where all the contestants in the Google Lunar X PRIZE intend to land on the Moon, in hopes of nabbing the $30 million in prizes available to the first privately funded ...

NASA joins Google in mapping the moon

Sep 19, 2007

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has joined with Google Inc. in producing new higher-resolution lunar imagery and maps.

NASA announces $2M lunar lander prize

Oct 25, 2007

The U.S. space agency announced it will offer $2 million in prizes to competing teams successfully demonstrating a prototype lunar lander.

Send Your Name to the Moon Aboard LRO

May 01, 2008

NASA invites people of all ages to join the lunar exploration journey with an opportunity to send their names to the moon aboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, spacecraft.

Recommended for you

A guide to the 2014 Neptune opposition season

1 hour ago

Never seen Neptune? Now is a good time to try, as the outermost ice giant world reaches opposition this weekend at 14:00 Universal Time (UT) or 10:00 AM EDT on Friday, August 29th. This means that the distant ...

Informing NASA's Asteroid Initiative: A citizen forum

20 hours ago

In its history, the Earth has been repeatedly struck by asteroids, large chunks of rock from space that can cause considerable damage in a collision. Can we—or should we—try to protect Earth from potentially ...

Image: Rosetta's comet looms

Aug 28, 2014

Wow! Rosetta is getting ever-closer to its target comet by the day. This navigation camera shot from Aug. 23 shows that the spacecraft is so close to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko that it's difficult to ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

rwinners
not rated yet May 25, 2012
Oh, come on! The moon, other planets and passing asteroids are going to be plundered by the first 'tribe' to get to them. Good luck on preventing this.
Oh, and 2015? Not a chance. The old Apollo debris may be recycled someday, but maybe not by humans.