Scientists estimate that as many as 394,178 pounds (178,796 kg) of debris was left on the Moon, including 73 lunar probes, rovers and satellites that landed or crashed there. But one artifact, a 3.3-inch (8.5 cm) aluminum sculpture created by Belgian artist Paul Van Hoeydonck, was secretly left by the Apollo 15 crew in 1971 to commemorate 14 astronauts and cosmonauts who had lost their lives in exploration. of space. the “Fallen Astronaut” figurine was donated to the Smithsonian Institution on April 17, 1972, the day after CBS anchor Walter Cronkite described the figurine and accompanying plaque as the first art on the moon.
A lunar landfill:
Van Hoeydonck said it was his opinion that he could have sold up to 950 copies of the statuette, but NASA objected, citing their strict policy against exploiting the space program.
Humans left a wide variety of objects on the moon, including golf balls hit by Alan Shepard during his Apollo 14 mission.
More than 100 objects were discarded at the Apollo 11 landing site, including two pairs of space boots, empty food bags and containers and, in NASA’s words, “defecation collection devices” and “urine collection assemblies”.