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What is lunar litter?
Science & Technology
25th Apr, 2022
The moon has a lot of man-made junk on it.
- For the past half-century, the Moon has been the destination of some of humankind’s most monumental and challenging expeditions.
- As the Moon becomes more accessible to both national space programs and private enterprise, it is important that we protect lunar artifacts for both their historic and scientific value.
- It's challenging to say, but the trash on the moon likely weighs upward of 400,000 lbs. (181,000 kilograms) on Earth.
- Much of this moon litter was left by NASA astronauts who landed on the lunar surface between 1969 and 1972 during the Apollo program.
- The other rubbish comes from crewless missions from space-exploring agencies, including those from the United States, Russia, Japan, India and Europe.
- Many of the older pieces are lunar probes that were sent to the moon to learn about it, such as whether spaceships could land on its surface.
- In the 1960s, some scientists thought that the moon might have a quicksand-like exterior because so many space rocks had pummeled and pulverized it over the years.
- These robotic probes, which stayed on the moon after their missions ended, showed that this idea was wrong, and that human-made gear could land on the moon's surface.
Verifying, please be patient.