The lunar landing of Apollo 11 could have infected the Earth with lunar germs, for example, astronauts

    Abdulaziz Sobh

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    An error made during the lunar landing of Apollo 11 could have brought lunar germs to Earth, the astronauts have revealed.

    When the three astronauts flew to the Moon and came back, exactly 50 years ago, this month, NASA worked hard to make sure no insects from the lunar surface were brought.

    The three members of the Apollo 11 crew put on special clothes, washed and took them to a quarantine facility where they lived until scientists could be sure that the Earth would not be contaminated.

    But interviews of a new documentary, filmed by PBS and revealed by Space.com, show that the plan to keep Earth easily could have failed and that space bugs could have entered Earth's atmosphere despite the best efforts of NASA.

    The astronauts noted that NASA did not believe there was anything alive on the Moon that could be returned to Earth. But precautions were taken if they existed.

    However, astronaut Michael Collins, who remained in the command module during the time that his crewmates Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were on the Moon, but would have picked up any possible germs as soon as they came back up, they noticed that everything that hard work could have been undone as soon as they landed back on Earth.

    "Look at it this way," he said. "Suppose there were germs on the moon, there are germs on the moon, we return, the command module is full of lunar germs, the command module lands in the Pacific Ocean, and what do they do? Open? To open the hatch All the damn germs come out! "

    Buzz Aldrin made a similar point when the images showed the astronauts being disinfected as if they were on a raft next to the spacecraft they had thrown to Earth.

    He said the rescuers had cleaned it with a cloth and then thrown it directly into the water.

    "Take all those germs to the bottom of the ocean," he laughs in the interview. "I wonder if they would survive there?"

     

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