The BBC recently ran a short article on the ethics of leaving stuff on the Moon. It draws mainly on environmental ethics and space law; not much on space heritage, although it does note the historical value of the remnants at the Apollo landing sites.
I wrote a piece on celestial objects as heritage for a forthcoming essay collection on space ethics, but I was writing more about making alterations to the objects (through mining them, say) than about storing or abandoning things on them. I’m not sure what I think about moral objections to considering the near-pristine, vacant lunar surface as ‘storage space’ instead of preserving its natural condition. I mean, if the comparison is with storing things in Earth’s environments...
Anyway: courtesy of the article’s link to NASA’s records of human artefacts on the moon, I’m pleased to learn that there are towels on the lunar surface, and that NASA knows where its towel is.
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