Are you former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich or some other person who has long desired to do some stuff to or on the moon? Well, here is some good news for you: A pair of House Democrats have "proposed legislation that would establish a national historical park on the surface of the moon."
The bill from Reps. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) would create the Apollo Lunar Landing Sites National Historical Park. The park would be comprised of all artifacts left on the surface of the moon from the Apollo 11 through 17 missions.
The bill says these sites need to be protected because of the anticipated increase in commercial moon landings in the future.
Basically, we left a bunch of junk on the moon, and if we don't do something to protect that junk, who knows what might happen? Richard Branson could turn it into a theme park, or something.
What this bill would do is "allow the government to accept donations from companies and foreign governments to help manage the landing sites and 'provide visitor services and administrative facilities within reasonable proximity to the Historical Park,'" according to The Hill. We could also have a bill that allows the government to accept donations from companies and foreign governments to keep kids in Head Start programs until such time as Congress surgically separates their heads from the tag-ends of their alimentary canals and repeals the sequestration -- but first, the moon! Definitely let's get the moon sorted.
The bill is called the "Apollo Lunar Landing Legacy Act," or H.R. 2617, which is named for the year when America will have an economically healthy middle class at the rate we are going.
UPDATE: Over at Reddit, a commenter reminds everyone that the United States is party to an actual United Nations "Outer Space Treaty," formally known as "The Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, Including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies." This treaty, among other things, stipulates that "outer space is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means."
It's not immediately clear if a National Historical Park would violate Space Law, but if it does, you can expect the full force of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs to drop all over you like a sack of hammers. Admittedly, the moon's gravitational conditions would make that pretty painless. BUT STILL.
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