Next Generation Helping with Space Preservation


Exactly 41 years to the day after the Apollo 11 lunar landing, the NASA Authorization Act of 2010 was introduced into the House of Representatives. Its goal? to investigate educate and start an international discussion about the many uses of the Moon.

Here at the Discovery Museum and Challenger Learning Center in Sacramento, where industry experts are facing a new frontier and remembering and recognizing space heritage. Lisa Westwood is on a one-of-a-kind mission, doing what no man or woman has done before. Seeking to protect property left behind during one of America’s most iconic moments.

This is a very unique type of historical resource, this isn’t something that most people think about as being worthy of protection. Yet history is occurring all around us and we are constantly making history and sometimes we don’t recognize that history has occurred until many years later. There will never be another first time, so if we have an opportunity to do something now to provide some level of protection to this very important part of our history, we can preserve it now before it’s too late. California State Historic Preservation officer Wayne Donaldson backs Lisa’s quest and feels the time to preserve the past, is the present. Certainly, the decommissioning of the space shuttle program is moving ahead and that means then what do we say that’s important to humankind and how that tells the story. The work that Lisa and her students are doing is so important that we look ahead and while the road ahead is rocky Lisa knows her efforts are paving the way to space history preservation. The biggest challenge faced is trying to get through a federal and international preservation framework that really didn’t think ahead about historical resources not located on earth.

it’s important to build in the next generation a sense of site stewardship and instill upon them the importance of preserving our history. The most interesting part about this project is the global aspects in the way this isn’t just an issue that the United States has to deal with but, this is also something that the whole world should think about. Space has long since been the final frontier and sharing that story can be more tangible than teachings out of a textbook. The tranquility base was the first step off of this planet and it will show the future generations it can be done. Most kids get their inspiration from what somebody did before them and it drives them to move forward.

America took that giant leap once now Lisa’s hoping we’ll take it again. If the next generation continues to shoot for the stars, the sky’s the limit for space preservation.