In other words, anyone capable of visiting Tranquillity Base could alter what many believe to be an indispensable part of humanity’s heritage, a place that is analogous to archaeological sites on Earth.

“Where the objects are, how they’re sitting there — that tells the actual real story and history of humans on the moon,” said Michelle Hanlon, a space lawyer and co-founder of the nonprofit organization For All Moonkind, which is developing an international framework for lunar site preservation.

You would not even have to go there to obliterate Armstrong’s footprints.

“Send a robot,” Mr. Mirmina said. “Just use some joysticks on the ground and drive over them.”