Alan Bean carries two sub packages of the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package (ALSEP) during the first Apollo 12 EVA. November 19, 1969. Photo credit: NASA

Last year, NASA laid the groundwork to protect the Apollo landing sites as cultural and historic artifacts, and last week the Google Lunar X Prize Foundation agreed to respect these guidelines. This means the 26 teams trying to land the first private spacecraft on the lunar surface have to steer clear of Apollo sites.

There’s much more than just spent descent stages and lunar rovers on the surface. Neil Armstrong’s boots are up there along with other equipment used and worn by moonwalking astronauts. But there are also personal items on the surface that speak volumes about the men who made the journey and the Apollo program as a whole. Those are the artifacts and stories well worth preserving. Read my article on Discovery News for a look at a few of the personal stories preserved on the lunar surface.


  • David Shomper says:

    “Alan Shepard added a six-iron golf club head to the handle of his contingency sample return container.”

    The golf club head was attached to a grasping tool, not the “return container”.

  • CK says:

    Another excellent story that you covered. I think that all of these initial sites (US and Russian) should be left to history and time – be undisturbed for others (if we as the Human Race decide to colonize the Moon) to visit.

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