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Discarded Apollo 11 items left on the moon get California historical status

January 29, 2010 |  3:14 pm

More than 100 items left behind on the moon by the Apollo 11 astronauts were named a California historical resource by a state preservation panel today.

The move by the California State Historical Resources Commission is part of a larger effort by scientists to protect what they say are valuable cultural artifacts at Tranquility Base, where man first set foot on the moon  July 20, 1969.

Similar efforts are in the works in other states with close ties to the Apollo program in the hopes of building momentum to have the items named a United Nations World Heritage Site. International treaties prohibit nations claiming sovereignty to the moon – but not to man-made objects that were left there.

Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin jettisoned scientific equipment, tools, empty containers and waste products to lighten the load of the Eagle lunar module for take-off and to account for the weight of moon rocks and soil samples.

-- Mike Anton in Orange County