More Than Footprints: Archaeological Hike On Moon

One of the first steps taken on the Moon, this is an image of Buzz Aldrin’s boot print from the Apollo 11 mission. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the Moon on July 20, 1969. The Apollo 11 mission launched on July 16 on a Saturn V launch vehicle developed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. Courtesy/NASA

NMHM News:

SANTA FE ― As part of this year’s 50th anniversary of the Apollo Moon landing events, the New Mexico History Museum offers the lecture More than Footprints: An Archaeological Hike on the Moon. 

This presentation by Beth Laura O’Leary, Ph.D. is in connection with the ongoing exhibit: “A Walk on theMoon: The 50th Anniversary of the Apollo Moon Landing.”  

The lecture is from 2-3 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 22 in the auditorium. This is a free event with limited seating.

A pioneer in this evolving field, Dr. O’Leary, Professor Emerita, (Ph.D., Anthropology, University of New Mexico) had a long teaching career in the Department of Antropology at New Mexico State University (NMSU) where she taught cultural resource management. She speaks on one of humanity’s most extraordinary archaeological sites –Tranquility Base on the Moon created by two Apollo 11 astronauts July 20, 1969. Today there are more than 200 metric tons of cultural material on the lunar surface. We will visit some of these significant sites and explore how to best preserve our space heritage.

For more than 19 years Dr. O’Leary has been involved with the cultural heritage of the Moonand is one of the creators of the field of Space Archaeological and Heritage. With a grant New Mexico Space Grant Consortium (NASA), she investigated the archaeological assemblage and preservation of the Apollo 11 Tranquility Base site on the Moon. With NMSU students she successfully nominated the artifacts at first lunar landing site to the New Mexico Register of Cultural Properties in 2010.  Invited by NASA, she worked with their scientific team to produce “NASA’s Recommendations to Space-Faring Entities: How to Protect and Preserve the Historic and Scientific Value of U.S. Government Lunar Artifacts” (2011). In 2012, she received an award from NASA for that work.

Her books include: (2017) The Final Mission: Preserving NASA’s Apollo Sites, (with  L.Westwood and M.W. Donaldson), University Press of Florida.; (2015) The Archaeology and Heritage of the Human Movement into Space (with co-editor, P.J. Capelotti), Springer International Press; and (2009) The Handbook of Space Engineering, Archaeology and Heritage with co-editor A. G. Darrin, (CRC Taylor & Francis Press).