It’s just decades, maybe just years, before we see a continuous human presence on the moon.
what does that mean? From a legal point of view, no one knows.
Outstanding global value
It can reasonably be said that interfering with an experiment or mining operation on the surface of the Moon would be harmful and cause measurable harm and thus would violate the treaty.
The law also encourages the development of best practices for protecting human heritage in space by developing concepts of due consideration and harmful interference – a development that will also guide how states and companies operate around each other. The recognition and protection of historic sites is just as small a step as it is the first step to developing a peaceful, sustainable and successful lunar governance model.
Boot fingerprints are not protected – yet. There is a long way to go towards an enforceable multilateral / global agreement to administer the protection, preservation or memorialization of all human heritage in space, but the Small Step Act should give us all hope for the future in space and here on Earth.
Michelle Hanlon is Professor of Air and Space Law at the University of Mississippi.
„Analitikas. Kūrėjas. Zombių fanatikas. Aistringas kelionių narkomanas. Popkultūros ekspertas. Alkoholio gerbėjas“.