It should come as no surprise that the Apollo astronauts left a few things behind after landing on the moon. Since the lunar module could only lift so much weight off the surface, they swapped out unwanted goods and gear for moon rocks. Among those unwanted goods were all kinds of weird things. What kinds of weird things? There were 96 bags of poop, pee and puke.
I know what you’re thinking: That makes total sense. That’s super gross! But it makes total sense. The Apollo missions brought back a total of 380kg of moon rocks, dust and core samples on six separate missions between 1969 and 1972. That amounts to who knows how many pounds of poop — not to mention the other excrement as well as boring old stuff like tools, golf balls, photographs, cameras, a gold-plated telescope and random symbolic objects. You can get a peek at the manifests that show what the astronauts abandoned in this video:
There is, however, scientific value to the things left behind. Astrobiologists, for instance, hope to one day inspect that half-century-old feces to see if the crap has undergone any genetic mutations while in space. Even more mundane gear on the moon’s surface offer a unique perspective on how different materials hold up in extreme environments like the moon, where temperatures oscillate between minus -223 to 121C.
What kinds of mundane gear, you wonder? Well, there’s actually an entire website devoted to trash on the moon. However, here’s a list of the more interesting and unusual items — aside from the 96 bags of poop, pee, and puke:
- More than 70 spacecraft
- 5 American flags, all of which are now white
- 12 pairs of boots
- An olive branch sculpture made of gold:
- “Several improvised javelins”
- Used wet wipes
- Space food wrappers
- 2 golf balls
- This gold-plated telescope that was the first tool used to make astronomical observations from the surface of another planetary body:
- A feather from Baggin, the official mascot of Air Force Academy
- A patch from the doomed Apollo 1 mission that never launched
- This silicon disc with goodwill messages from 73 world leaders:
- Not to be repetitive or anything: 96 bags of poop, pee and puke
Factually highlights fun facts, interesting photos and weird trivia.