Readers React: Soiled diapers, rocket engines and other trash humans left on the moon

This April 1972 file handout image provi
Astronaut John W. Young leaps from the lunar surface as he salutes the American flag during the Apollo 16 mission in April 1972.
( AFP/Getty Images)

To the editor: Your editorial on lunar historic preservation creates the impression that while the Soviet Union left only wreckage on the moon, the Americans left only a flag, a plaque and boot prints.

In fact, the Apollo 11 lunar module’s ascent stage, after returning astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the command module, was crashed into the moon. The descent stage was also left on the moon.

In total, the Apollo program left behind six ascent stages, six descent stages, three lunar rover vehicles, four Saturn V rocket third stages and a lot of other less interesting objects, including golf balls, soiled diapers and urine bags.

To its credit, NASA cataloged each and every human artifact left behind on the moon.

Hal Muller, Thousand Oaks


To the editor: I happily endorse the L.A. Times editorial board’s stance on preserving lunar historic sites, but you’ve managed to perpetuate a common misconception — that the far side of the moon is the dark side.

This may seem pedantic, but think about it. We only ever see one side of the moon, and the Chinese craft landed on the side we don’t see, but it’s only dark there when it’s lit up on our side, the near side.

Both sides get equal time in the sun, just not at the same time.

Steven Sittig, San Dimas

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