Texas Congressman Wants a U.S. National Park on the Moon

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Tex.) is hoping to build another national park, but it's location would make it the most unique of them all. Johnson has introduced a bill that would create a U.S. National Park on the Moon, and would protect artifacts left by NASA astronaut's on the moon's surface while executing missions from the Apollo 11 to 17 programs.

In addition, the bill would also preserve Neil Armstrong's footprints on the lunar surface, nominating the impressions as a United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site, giving it as status as "threatened."

Johnson explained in a note:

"In light of other nations and private entities developing the ability to go to the Moon, the United States must be proactive in protecting artifacts left by the seven Apollo lunar landings."

Johnson and fellow House Science, Space and Technology committee member Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) filed the bill on Monday at the House of Representatives.

Anyone taking artifacts from the moon would be subject to the same laws that protect national parks on Earth.

Johnson also pointed out that Russian Space Agency head Vladimir Popovkin has been calling for the protection of artifacts that its program has left behind on the moon during several of its manned missions.

The House bill has been referred to two committees, the Science, Space and Technology Committee and the Natural Resources Committee.