It has been nearly 50 years since the Apollo 11 Moon landing, and Neil Armstrong’s footprint is still there — along with more than 100 items in the Sea of Tranquility, which includes shovels, rakes, television cameras, a plaque, human waste and more.
“[The Moon] isn’t in a cultural vacuum — we have taken our culture to another place; the Apollo 11 site is probably the most extraordinary site of human behavior in humanity.”
Apollo 11 is not the only mission that left things behind on the Moon.
Yet while the Moon has been described as a “dumping ground” in space, the things we have "dumped" there are also archeological treasures.
The biggest threat to objects on the Moon are space rocks and meteorites — legitimate concerns, but by Earth standards, benign natural preservation on the Moon is much more reliable. "
[The Moon's] remoteness has preserved it to a great extent,” O’Leary told Salon, adding that her colleague has described what has been left on the Moon as “time capsules.”
Mark Lupisella, an exploration research and development manager at Goddard Space Flight Center, told Salon there are other reasons to preserve items on the Moon, such as a means to study human contaminants on the lunar surface.