We’re cosmic litterbugs, and now there’s proof of it. Wherever humankind roams, it seems like we leave an awful lot of footprints and debris behind. Whether you’re looking at the banks of some tourism-trodden riverbank in the middle of a South American rainforest, the stepped-upon steppes of Mongolia, the uncovered ruins of Pompeii in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, or even the dusty surface of the moon, a watchful eye will catch evidence of human activity in what might seem to be the most remote places. For those deluded cynics among us who insist that the moon landings were hoaxed and shot on a secret sound stage somewhere in the middle of nowhere a la Capricorn One, NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) offers some snapshots of the lunar surface that should make the doubters do a double take.
High resolution images were taken by the LRO on elliptical passes in orbit by the Apollo 12, 14, and 17 landing sites, where lunar rover tracks and human foot trails are clearly visible as well as spent rocket stages, lunar rovers themselves, and other materials left behind on missions where ambitious little earthlings once walked on the surface of the moon.
Mark Robinson, principal investigator for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC), says: “The new low-altitude Narrow Angle Camera images sharpen our view of the moon’s surface. A great example is the sharpness of the rover tracks at the Apollo 17 site. In previous images the rover tracks were visible, but now they are sharp parallel lines on the surface.”
Still think the moon landings were a hoax? Don’t go mouthing off to Buzz Aldrin, or he’ll give you a healthy pop in the chops. He’s as old school as it gets and he can knock out a whippersnapper 1/4th of his age. We advise you to proceed with caution should you exercise your right to partake of such foolishness. The truly curious can go learn more about the LRO at NASA’s site.