Archaeological Expeditions To the Moon
By Sugob Elcitra
[Dr. Sugob Elcitra is the founding president of Lunar Research, Inc. His company plans to offer private trips to the moon for those able to afford the 1.5 million per person reservations. The 20-day outings are scheduled to begin in July of 2013. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org]
It is my view that the archaeological treasures to be found on the Lunar surface are well worth the cost and risk involved in their retrieval. It is appropriate that those willing to bear the expense and danger of retrieving them should become their owners regardless of the original owners or any perceived historical value. There is abundant precedent on earth for this view, a prime example being the preservation of artifacts from Egypt and Greece. A case-in-point is the Elgin Marbles that would long ago have been destroyed had they not be removed to the safety of the British Museum. The same can be said of he Rosetta Stone. Private collectors, rather than being criticized, are to be credited with the preservation of countless objects of great historical and scientific importance. So it should be with the multitude of objects that litter the surface of our nearest neighbor. It is only reasonable that expedition members should retain for personal use objects that they help rescue at their own cost and substantial peril. Wealth does have its privileges.
It is my plan that members of the first expedition will disassemble the Apollo 11 Lunar Module known as “The Eagle.” Buzz Aldrin and the late Neil Armstrong use this vehicle for descent to the surface of the moon. It was left behind on their ascent and so has become a legitimate salvage which I plan to claim. Each participant will retain a proportionate share of the mechanism. A few ounces of the metal struts, I plan to donate to the Smithsonian Institution. For the Eagle to remain neglected on the lunar surface cannot be justified.
Other archaeological debris that will be claimed on visits include the Russian Luna 2 . Over time, my clients will come to own parts of probes, camera, plagues and other objects that now lie uselessly on the dusty surface of the moon. Who will be the next Howard Carter who will exclaim that he sees “wonderful things” in the pursuit of archaeology. Only 500 people have been in space in the past 50 years, but I expect to increase the number to thousands. Join us to boldly go where few have gone before.