Many people wondered why space agencies hadn’t sent humans to the Moon since the Apollo 17 mission that took place back in 1972. That was over 50 years ago. It wasn’t long until conspiracy theories started to thrive: NASA astronauts might have encountered alien life forms on our natural satellite that weren’t exactly willing to shake hands. Seems legit, right?
However, a new study will probably disappoint you a bit. Although it supports the hypothesis that alien life might exist on the Moon, expecting to encounter any little green men with pointy ears there is highly unrealistic. Instead, the existence of microbial life forms represents a much more feasible scenario.
Will astronauts find anything alive on the Moon during the Artemis mission?
NASA suggests that upcoming astronauts who will reach the lunar surface may not be the first living organisms there, as Futurism reveals. Recent research indicates the possibility of habitable environments in protected regions of airless bodies, where microbial life could potentially exist. The lunar south pole’s shadowed craters are of particular interest, raising the question of whether Earth-originating life forms could have endured the journey to our natural satellite.
NASA is currently considering various landing sites for its upcoming Artemis 3 mission, acknowledging the potential existence of microbial life on the Moon. While organic molecules may have traveled through space via meteors, the survival of microbes during such journeys remains uncertain. Additionally, the speculation exists that humans may have inadvertently introduced microbes to the Moon in previous missions.
Heather Graham, the organic geochemist at NASA Goddard, explained for Space.com:
We view humans as the most likely vector [of microbes] given the extensive data that we have about our history of exploration and the impact record as a second, albeit less influential, early terrestrial source.
Despite the likelihood that any life discovered on the Moon originated from Earth, the implications of finding surviving microbes on our natural satellite would be profound for space exploration and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.