Buzz Aldrin Has Perfect Reply to Plan to Analyze Human Poop Left on Moon's Surface

Wednesday, 03 April 2019 - 2:23PM
Moon
Weird Science
Astrobiology
Wednesday, 03 April 2019 - 2:23PM
Buzz Aldrin Has Perfect Reply to Plan to Analyze Human Poop Left on Moon's Surface
< >
Composite from pixabay
The Apollo 11 crew left more than just an American flag, footprints, and a legacy of indelible achievement in space exploration on the surface of the moon. According to New Mexico State University, they also left a commemorative plaque, a golden olive branch, and... oh yeah, a bunch of bags containing human waste. That's not the last of it however. In 2012, The Atlantic reported that there was over 400,000 pounds of human-made trash littering the surface on the moon, including 96 bags of human urine, feces, and vomit from the six Apollo landings.


Yeah, we weren't aware of that either. Someone want to start a #trashtag project for the moon? 


This unpleasant fact was brought to light by in a recent article by Vox's Brian Resnick, aptly and subtly titled "Apollo astronauts left their poop on the moon. We gotta go back for that shit." Resnick's reasoning, however, has less to do with the ethos of leaving bags of poop all over the moon than it does with the research possibilities contained within each and every one of those smelly little sacks. Resnick points out that:


"With the Apollo 11 moon landing, we took microbial life on Earth to the most extreme environment it has ever been in. Which means the human feces - along with bags of urine, food waste, vomit, and other waste in the bags, which also might contain microbial life - on the moon represents a natural, though unintended, experiment." And of course, it's true. If bacterial life can persist – even in a dormant or sleeping state – on the surface of the moon, it opens the door for a new understanding of what kinds of life could form – or be created – on other planets and extraterrestrial bodies. 


Resnick went so far as to confirm the moon's fecal colony in a conversation with Apollo 16 Charlie Duke who informed him that the astronauts on his mission "left urine that was collected in a tank ... and I believe we had a couple of bowel movements - but I'm not sure - those were in a trash bag. We had a couple of bags of trash we kicked out on the lunar surface." 


That's good to know as it would be a shame to up there in search of mutant moon poop and come up empty-handed.


True to form, Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin chimed in on Twitter. 





That said, we do hope that future missions to the moon, like one Donald Trump has promised by 2024, show a little more concern for the moon's environment.

Science
NASA
Moon
Weird Science
Astrobiology
No