Humans have left 400,000 pounds of "garbage" on the moon

I guess your world is this or that?

It’s either pollution or it isn’t right?

I don’t think a handful of probes and landing modules are pollution.

If you wanted to talk about space pollution using dead satellites and debris in Earth orbit, I’d be more incline to agree with you.

I reminded myself of this old song…

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It’s all part of the same issue.

Is a couple of plastic bottles on an otherwise pristine beach pollution?

If we are comparing apples to apples:

Nearly everything brought aboard the Apollo missions were essential to completing said mission.

Plastic bottles on earth are largely non-essential.

The Apollo missions and exploration probes furthered both our exploration of our solar system and provided invaluable scientific information.

Plastic bottles were put there by careless beach goers.

Removing said items from the Moon would take billions to get to the moon and back, and billions to go down to the moon and back. It would be next to impossible to retrieve stuff from say Venus due to the hellish conditions. Mars retrieval would be in the billions.

Picking up a couple bottles and putting them in the trash is probably like 50 calories of energy and a few minutes of time.

If we went back to the moon and founded permanent bases, the original Apollo landing zones would either be roped off as historical landmarks, or moved to a museum. If we managed to go to Mars, the old probes there would likewise be elevated to historical artifacts.

Unless you buried the plastic bottles and dug them up in 1000 years, they are just trash to be recycled.

I know you hate me, but this is an odd hill to defend.


I’d like to see the math that adds up to 400 thousand pounds.

An all-up LM with the ascent stage, all consumables and full tanks weighed about 36,000. What was left on the moon (including the discarded ascent stage) could not be more than say 60 percent of that. So that’s 125,000 for all six Apollos.

We have sent something like 30 unmanned probes to the moon. I’m pretty sure the heaviest ones were the Surveyors at ~650 pounds. So maybe another 15-17 thousand there.

The rest of the world has sent about 35 unmanned probes. Even if each one weighs twice as much as a Surveyor that’s another 45,000.

I’m having a hard time getting to even half of 400,000.

Is a beautiful statue in a park pollution?

(I mean, if we’re going to make ridiculous comparisons I wanted to join in…)

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