Lunar trash can

Manmade Moon trash: China's wayward rocket joins poop, a javelin, and more

Ha, how did that get there?

Originally Published: 
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On March 4, a rocket booster is predicted to crash — accidentally — onto the lunar surface.

This won’t be the first time debris from a space mission makes contact with the Moon.

Dozens of spacecraft and rocket pieces are currently collecting dust on the lunar surface after impact.

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But remnants of research vessels are far from the strangest objects we’ve left on Earth’s closest satellite.

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NASA has cataloged nearly 800 items discarded on the Moon during the Apollo missions.

Researchers don’t know these items’ exact locations, but they are scattered somewhere near where astronauts set up base 50-plus years ago.


Once the Apollo program ended, that didn’t stop us from making a landfill out of the Moon — or outer space in general.


Here are 10 of the weirdest things we’ve left on the Moon:

10. Golf balls

Ever heard of the Lunar Olympics? Astronauts snuck golf clubs to the Moon during Apollo 14 and took a few swings on the lunar surface. Once they finished, they left the balls behind.

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9. A javelin

Well, a makeshift javelin. Astronaut Ed Mitchell fashioned one from a research device in order to have something to throw during the Lunar Olympics.

8. Barf bags

Though the astronauts only discarded empty barf bags, there is human poop still sitting on the Moon today — 96 bags of it.

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7. Used wet wipes

Astronauts had to stay clean somehow. These moist face towels remain on the lunar surface along with other grooming materials like soap and a pair of nail clippers.



6. Earplugs

These must’ve been an important tool for astronauts since they left earplugs behind during three separate Apollo missions.

5. Cameras

Cameras and other electronic equipment such as cables and antennas are still sitting on the Moon, collecting dust.

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4. A Bible

Apollo astronauts left behind a number of commemorative and symbolic items. There’s also money, a portrait of astronaut James Irwin, and a gold olive branch.

3. Shoes

A few pairs of boots, or overshoes, that astronauts wore to walk on the Moon for the first time are still sitting on the lunar surface.

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2. Tongs

Not the kind you’d use in the kitchen. Spring-loaded and up to 32 inches long, these tongs helped astronauts collect rocks on the Moon.

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1. Tardigrades

In 2019, the Israeli Beresheet spacecraft crashed into the Moon with thousands of tardigrades on board. The creatures are known to weather extreme conditions — so there’s a chance they could still be alive.


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