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to boldly go

Did you know that the US left poo on the moon?

They did. And it was for a good reason.

minutephysics / YouTube

ONE OF THE most commonly asked questions about space travel is about living habits.

What do they eat, how do they stay entertained and, of course, where do they do their… business.

In this modern age, the world’s space exploration bodies have mastered the space toilet, but for the earliest astronauts, things were not so easy.

For the first men to land on the moon in 1969, their options for going to the toilet were pretty basic.

For number ones, there was a sheath that connected to a valve that allowed you to either go into a bag, which would be jettisoned later, or connected to the wall of the module and allowed you to pee directly into space.

Mission control generally preferred if astronauts took the latter option as jettisoning anything affects the speed of the module and can delay landings.

For “big toilet”, there was essentially a plastic bag, an emesis bag, that was taped to your backside.

Yes, a bag.

However, when the module landed, astronauts were required to take samples. Taking on samples meant taking on extra weight.

To balance that out, that meant leaving some things behind. Here’s what Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin left in 1969.

PastedImage-42437 Trash On The Moon Trash On The Moon

And here is what the crew of Apollo 15, David R Scott and James B Irwin, left behind when they landed on the moon in 1971.


The 96 bags of urine, faeces and vomit are still there, as is a collection of American memorabilia, such as:

Scientists hope to one day examine the material to see what effect the conditions have had on human waste.

Read: This revolutionary rocket will have to wait to try a risky new way of landing

Read: An African moon mission is in the works, but they’re having trouble getting funding off the ground

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