For All Moonkind, Inc. is a non-profit organization that seeks to work with the United Nations and the international community to protect each of the six human lunar landing and similar sites in outer space as part of our human heritage. Our entirely volunteer leadership team includes space lawyers and policymakers from around the world who have come together to draft an international agreement to manage the preservation of our cultural heritage in outer space.
On 16 July 1969 a Saturn V rocket lifted off on a historic voyage. Four days later, millions of people watched as the first human footprints were set on the Moon’s desolate surface. They were envoys of all humankind, propelled to the heavens on the ingenuity and perseverance of thousands of scientists, engineers, tool workers and dreamers from around the globe. The boot prints have been undisturbed for nearly 50 years. Preserved by the vacuum of space – and by the fact that no human, and only a handful of rovers, has returned to the Moon since 1972. But that’s about to change.
It is clear that we stand on the threshold of the spacefaring age, and that our Moon is about to get very crowded. Japan, China, Russia and the United States all are weighing crewed Moon missions within the next decade. Private crewed missions may get there even sooner on the backs of SpaceX or the Google Lunar XPRIZE Program. More robots will be deployed to the Moon by nations and private interests as early as 2018. And Europe and China continue to tease about collaboration on a potential Moon colony.
Talk about exhilarating! The horizon of space beckons innovators, explorers and inventors almost irresistibly. But with all these technological breakthroughs comes deep responsibility. We cannot allow ourselves to forsake the past in the name of the future. Each of the lunar landing sites — both robotic and human — is evidence of unparalleled technological development in the evolution of the human story. They are humanity’s first steps off our planet Earth. They mark an achievement unparalleled in human history, and one that is common to all humankind. They hold valuable scientific and archaeological information. They also serve as poignant memorials to all those who work — and have worked in the past — to make the spacefaring human a reality. In short, they are unique and irreplaceable cultural and scientific resources. They must be protected from from intentional or accidental disturbance or desecration.