In six expeditions to lunar soil, humans have left behind all kinds of waste. Among them, equipment, a flag that has become legendary, and 96 bags containing stools, vomit and urine. This simple fact raises several essential questions regarding past and future space missions.
Leaving objects on site was a necessity fifty years ago to allow astronauts to take off again, at the risk of polluting virgin spaces, even before establishing a human presence there. Today, modern technologies make it easier for expeditions to leave without leaving anything behind.
Behind the environmental impact lie more dizzying questions: what happened to the bacteria that was in these bags? What is the survival capacity of microorganisms in this hostile environment? And, if we thus pollute the stars that we visit with living organisms, how can we be sure, if we one day find life there, that we have not brought it with us?
In this video, we explore the questions posed by these bags of biological waste. And if you want to know more about the upcoming return of humans to the Moon, we invite you to watch the video below.
“Understand in three minutes”
The explanatory videos that make up the “Understand in three minutes” series are produced by the Vertical Videos department of the World. Broadcast primarily on platforms such as TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram or Facebook, they aim to put major events into context in a short format and make the news accessible to everyone.
This video is offered in partnership with the Cité de l’espace in Toulouse, on the occasion of the launch of the new LuneXplorer equipment.