A Canadian scientist calls for action to protect important geological and historical features on the Moon, Mars and other planets.
Jack Matthews, of the Memorial University of Newfoundland, says that nations and private companies increasingly explore and develop space, there is a growing threat to extraterrestrial environments.
He says that a global agreement is necessary to protect the most important sites before it is too late.
Matthews, a postdoctoral fellow in the Earth Science Department of the Memorial, and Sean McMahon of the United Kingdom Center for Astrobiology has just published a paper on the subject.
Matthews says that his proposal would not hinder the exploration or development of resources, but would protect places like Valles Marineris, known as the Mars version of the Grand Canyon, and the landing site of Apollo 11, where humans trod on First time another celestial body.
He says it could take years to produce an agreement mind, then the discussion and the debate should start now.