On Thursday night, July 25, the City of Kent and the Kent Downtown Partnership received historic landmark designations for the Lunar Roving Vehicles that were built in Kent at the Boeing Space Center and used in Apollo Missions 15, 16 and 17 in 1971 and 1972.
The designation was unanimously passed at a crowded public hearing at the Kent City Hall by the King County Landmarks Commission Thursday night.
Below is a condensed version of the hearing, including public comments (running time 51:35):
“Above all, the designation for the City of Kent acts as a reminder of the dedicated engineers who changed history through the creation of the Lunar Roving Vehicles 50 years ago,” said Kent Mayor Dana Ralph. “The momentous recognition for Kent Valley allows for continued education and remembrance of the tangible impact these vehicles have had on space exploration indefinitely.”
This groundbreaking designation decision coincides with the 50th anniversary of Boeing winning the NASA contract to create these Lunar Roving Vehicles. In just 17 months these “moon buggies” were created to allow humans to explore more of the moon’s surface which paved the way for future innovation in space exploration and enabled the most successful crewed missions to the moon.
“Landmark designations play an essential role in preserving the history of lunar exploration,” said Michael Lombardi, historian at Boeing. “These legendary artifacts bear witness to this exploration of the moon and will now be solidified in history through today’s designation, honoring the extraordinary work done by so many.”
Now that the Apollo Lunar Roving Vehicles have achieved landmark designation for the region, the City of Kent will go on to pursue recognition at the state level. To date, only California and New Mexico have lunar objects in their state historic registers. The City of Kent’s efforts to attain state historic landmark designation will bring even greater recognition of this region’s continued contributions and to our country’s legacy of lunar exploration.
For more information, or to help fund an interactive replica of a Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) at Kherson Park in the heart of Kent’s downtown, click here.