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Most Flags still standing on Moon except first

Posted by: SANEAlex - Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:30 pm
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Most Flags still standing on Moon except first 
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Post Most Flags still standing on Moon except first   Posted on: Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:30 pm
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-19050795

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Post Re: Most Flags still standing on Moon except first   Posted on: Sat Dec 01, 2012 10:05 pm
If and when people return to the moon and if they even want to go back to one of the sites (US or Soviet) are they free to take anything they find?


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Post Re: Most Flags still standing on Moon except first   Posted on: Sat Jan 05, 2013 8:18 am
I always wondered about the flags and what would become of them. I mean, was the general idea to be a sort of "we claim this land" type of action? :shock:

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Post Re: Most Flags still standing on Moon except first   Posted on: Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:30 pm
Well, IIRC the Outer Space Treaty says that no-one can own any natural objects in space, so no claiming the Moon. Presumably the flags are still US government property, after all if I park my car in your driveway that doesn't make it yours, even if it may constitute trespassing. So I don't see why putting your flag on an unclaimable piece of rock would entail giving up ownership.

As to what will happen to them, well, as long as the US government has any power down here I imagine they'll be able to decide what happens to them. On the other hand, 384000 km is a long way...

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Post Re: Most Flags still standing on Moon except first   Posted on: Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:57 pm
I do wonder about ownership it could be open to legitimate salvage. It it were active still doing science i think the car analogy would be good. But other than the laser reflectors still doing science i think its all inactive and it could be considered litter like plastic bottles in the oceans and those you could salvage and recycle without breaking any laws if they were in international waters rather than national ones.

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Post Re: Most Flags still standing on Moon except first   Posted on: Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:48 pm
I'm not sure that that argument holds water. The flags were never intended for doing science, they were intended to represent the United States of America. That organisation still exists, and the flags still perform that function. So I don't think that it's comparable to an ancient Greek statue or a chest full of 17th century bullion.

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Post Re: Most Flags still standing on Moon except first   Posted on: Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:54 am
AS you pointed out by international treaty you cant gain ownership of something by just planting a flag in it any more also iirc the flag would have been bleached white by now. I think what was left behind could be considered junk dumped overboard when they left so open to free salvage.

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Post Re: Most Flags still standing on Moon except first   Posted on: Sun Feb 17, 2013 3:40 am
Ownership is who ever is there, working the site. So whom ever can get to the sites can do what they like.
However.
I've seen references to declaring them memorials and leaving them untouched. Each Apollo site probably has less than a metric ton of useable metal, the other landers even less. And anything that impacted would be scattered into small pieces. Not really worth the effort, unless you were desperate for spare parts (some aluminum tubing or fasteners) in an emergency. Just plain ol' moon rocks would probably fetch pretty close to the same value as bits of LEM and have a lot more scientific value.


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Post Re: Most Flags still standing on Moon except first   Posted on: Sun Feb 17, 2013 2:22 pm
JamesG wrote:
Ownership is who ever is there, working the site. So whom ever can get to the sites can do what they like.
However.
I've seen references to declaring them memorials and leaving them untouched. Each Apollo site probably has less than a metric ton of useable metal, the other landers even less. And anything that impacted would be scattered into small pieces. Not really worth the effort, unless you were desperate for spare parts (some aluminum tubing or fasteners) in an emergency. Just plain ol' moon rocks would probably fetch pretty close to the same value as bits of LEM and have a lot more scientific value.


I agree in reality possession is nine tenths of the law but on the other hand the UN has declared places down here world heritage sites but i think one of the reasons that we have not as a species done much more in the last 40 odd years to exploit space resources is due to the possible legal quagmire as the UN has left a lot of it up in the air or more precisely hard vacuum legally speaking :wink: :twisted:.

On a question of value i agree if you were going to bring it back moon rocks would be just as valuable unless you were bringing it back as a museum piece as a specific mission. But as the two recently created space mining company's have pointed it costs a lot to get stuff up there your talking $5000 for a glass of water in LEO so for the near to medium future until after we get a space elevator built and paid off. Or we getting a decent amount of manufacturing capability up there. Processed metals etc will I think be quite valuable for on-site uses.

And specifically if i were organising a manned space mission near one of the existing Apollo landing sites i would consider taking a spare set of batteries and recycle a Rover as other than the batteries EV's tend to be robust and long lasting and could still be useful up there.

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Post Re: Most Flags still standing on Moon except first   Posted on: Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:38 pm
Yeah but you can't rely upon scavenging stuff. Perhaps in an emergency, but not as part of a plan.

The Moon is plenty big that we should be able to respect and preserve the Apollo landing sites IMO. My concern is that when we start large scale mining there, that the dust from the activity will pollute the sites, covering them with dust and eroding the footprints etc.


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Post Re: Most Flags still standing on Moon except first   Posted on: Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:28 pm
JamesG wrote:
Yeah but you can't rely upon scavenging stuff. Perhaps in an emergency, but not as part of a plan.

The Moon is plenty big that we should be able to respect and preserve the Apollo landing sites IMO. My concern is that when we start large scale mining there, that the dust from the activity will pollute the sites, covering them with dust and eroding the footprints etc.


I would go with Apollo 11 being one of the first solar system heritage sites if the UN starts to pay attention to space but i suspect that the last Apollo site is the one that is more likely to be disturbed first as IIRC it was the one with a geologist who found a volcanic vent nearby so there is likely to be a range of accessible mineral types accessible of the ore rather than dirt category.

Mind you i am of the opinion that planets and moons are an inefficient use of matter and should eventually be recycled into things more useful to our species that is of course if we don't die from stupidity first. :wink: :twisted:

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