The moon's exploitation sparks a legal and religious debate

The Navajo Nation are among the groups decrying the moon's usage as a dumping ground

Photo collage of two people digging a grave on the surface of the moon
(Image credit: Illustration by Julia Wytrazek / Getty Images)

While humans are expected to return to the lunar surface on the Artemis III mission as soon as 2026, there is another aspect of moon travel that is generating its fair share of controversy: the commercialization of the lunar body and the laws surrounding it. 

While NASA is still finalizing its timeline for the Artemis program, a series of privately funded missions have been intending to use the moon as a sort of "dumping ground" for a variety of materials. This includes landers that could ship plastics, lunar advertisements and even human remains to the surface of the moon. 

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