Apr 06, 2019 02:23 PM EDT
On July 1969, Apollo 11 has reached the moon and mankind took their giant leap. It has been fifty years since the first manned mission to the moon. The footprints and driving tracks from several Apollo missions are still intact on the surface of the Moon.
However, these successful manned missions to the Moon aren't all footprints, samples, surveys, and legendary photo opportunities. Apparently, humanity's space heroes left 96 bags of waste on the surface of the moon. Much like the footprints, those bags are still there.
Brian Resnick, a Vox journalist, jokingly called out in his article that those bags should be taken back to earth. A few days later, Buzz Aldrin, half of the Apollo 11 duo, gave a reaction via social media platform, Twitter. Stating that the astronaut feels sorry for whoever is tasked to retrieve his bag.
In his report, Resnick has pointed out an important realization: "Is anything alive in them?"
Pertaining to the bags of human waste, Resnick might have sparked a very interesting study and maybe listed an additional task for the proposed 2024 manned moon landing.
Human waste could be half bacteria and half a combination of fat, carbohydrates, and protein. But all 96 bags could not have possibly contained only human feces. Some contained food waste, vomit, and urine. The possibility for these microbial life-bearing specimen to survive in the moon's atmosphere is still in question. Thus, much like lemons to lemonade, the abandoned bags of waste on the moon could be thought of as a natural and unintended experiment.
Resnick posted a number of questions including those regarding the resilience of life in a brutal environment such as that of the moon and if the microbes could survive interstellar travel, opening the possibility to seed Mars with microbes.
Charlie Duke, one of the astronauts on the Apollo 16 moon landing, stated in an interview that their assumption was that solar radiation would get to the waste and sanitizing it in the process. The astronaut further explained their decision to leave the jett bags was for the safety of their trip back to Earth.
Because of the calculated weight limit, leaving behind the bag of waste while choosing to bring home rock samples is a sensible decision, as explained by Andrew Schuerger, co-author of the study discussing the viability of microbes surviving on the moon. This conscious decision increases the margin of safety on the crew's flight back to Earth.
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