Since the Soviet Union crash-landed a spacecraft in 1959, the moon has been a junkyard of all sorts of human objects.

Scattered around the Apollo landing sites are other items that were never meant to come home: a falcon's feather, a javelin, a family photo and an aluminium figure, the Fallen Astronaut, which lies on its side near a plaque bearing the names of 14 men who died in the pursuit of space exploration.

But space explorers are also responsible for leaving items most would turn their noses up at - human poo.

But there is a perfectly legitimate explanation for the dumping of 96 bags of human poo, urine and vomit.

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Astronaut David Scott salutes the US flag on the moon during the Apollo 15 mission there on July 30, 1971. Photo / Nasa
Astronaut David Scott salutes the US flag on the moon during the Apollo 15 mission there on July 30, 1971. Photo / Nasa

The Apollo astronauts were tasked with bringing a lot of moon rocks back to Earth, but the added weight meant the crew had to dispose of a number of unwanted items in order to safely travel back home.

In an article for the BBC's Science Focus magazine, astrophysics professor Dr Alastair Gunn, said the poo will have had "no permanent effect on the lunar environment".

David Scott returns to the
David Scott returns to the "Falcon" lunar module in the Lunar Rover after collecting samples of lunar rock and soil. Photo / Nasa
Buzz Aldrin left this footprint behind during the Apollo 11 mission. Photo / Nasa
Buzz Aldrin left this footprint behind during the Apollo 11 mission. Photo / Nasa

"Any microorganisms present in the human waste could not have grown under the harsh conditions of the lunar surface.

"It is possible, however, that some could have survived for a time as dormant, inactive spores.

"So, after 50 years on the lunar surface the human waste, which is now probably just bags of dust, may contain important information on the survival of microorganisms in space."

While humans haven't landed on the moon since 1972, there are ongoing efforts to return.

Nasa has plans to send a woman to the moon by 2028, while China and Elon Musk are also keen to return humans to the moon.