back to article Sorry, Neil Armstrong. Boffins say you may not have been first life-form to set foot on the Moon

The Moon may not have been as desolate as it is today – and could have supported life on its surface after its formation some four billion years ago. This revelation comes just days after the anniversary of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin setting foot on the Moon, a first for humankind, on July 20, 1969. A paper published in …

  1. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Alien

    Good!

    I personally am looking forward to the comely moon-maidens that 50's B-movies promised me.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good!

      What about the Nazi moon base that was set up after WWII? There was that film about it a couple of years ago - Iron Skies

      1. Steven Raith

        Re: Good!

        And it's a ton of fun.

        There's a sequel on the way, although it's been delayed till next year.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_Sky:_The_Coming_Race (sort yer own hyperlinks out)

        Thanks for reminding me of that, think I know what I'll be watching tonight.

        Steven R

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. iron Silver badge

          Re: Good!

          There's even a sequel coming in January next year: https://youtu.be/ZHz_X8xtrWg

      2. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: Good!

        They aimed for the Moon alright. But, alas Wernher Von Braun wasn't there anymore, and ended up hitting Bruxelles instead.

        And, yet there are plenty of nutterz out there saying how great it would be... (For there Wallets), to get back into bed with that lot. Me? I still wondering if anyone was awake for History 101 after getting the Memo about how jolly rotten that little man with the funny looking mustash was?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Good!

          They aimed for the Moon alright. But, alas Wernher Von Braun wasn't there anymore, and ended up hitting Bruxelles instead.

          "Once rockets are up, who cares where they come down? That's not my department", said Wernher von Braun

      3. Hollerithevo Silver badge

        Re: Good!

        Iron Skies -- I believe Heinlein wrote of this idea first?

      4. jelabarre59 Silver badge

        Re: Good!

        What about the Nazi moon base that was set up after WWII? There was that film about it a couple of years ago - Iron Skies

        I'd rather think about Shado's moonbase... Mini-skirts and purple-haired women...

      5. Efer Brick

        Re: Good!

        Do they have a shark aquarium too?

    2. SilverCommentard

      Re: Good!

      Surely this just proves what we've always known, otherwise how do you explain the Clangers?

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: Good!

        otherwise how do you explain the Clangers?

        I hope not, some things are best left a wonderful mystery, despite the opportunity to solve world hunger by capturing a soup dragon.

      2. Scroticus Canis Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Good! - "how do you explain the Clangers?"

        So the cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, could account for the veins in the blue-cheese it's made of. It all starts to make sense at last.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Good! - "how do you explain the Clangers?"

          Sounds like an excuse to post this NASA Fakes Moon Landing! Photographic Proof!

    3. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: Good!

      Coming soon on History Channel (and youtube about five minutes after broadcast)- some nutjob tries to prove the garden of eden was on the moon.

  2. Pete4000uk

    What about

    The aliens on the dark side, do they count?

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: What about

      "There is no dark side of the moon really.

      Matter of fact it's all dark."

      four more years and it will be 50 years since I first heard those lyrics.

      1. Roger Greenwood

        Re: What about

        1. That means you heard it before it was released (impressed).

        2. Damn we're old.

        1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

          Re: That means you heard it before it was released

          Pink Floyd played an early version of it during their 'Tour 72' (Jan - Feb 1972). I was in the audience at Brighton Dome on 20th Jan 1972 and again at The Rainbow on 18th Feb. DSOTM was called Eclipse at the time but another band brought out an Album of the same name so they changed it.

          1. Andy The Hat Silver badge

            Re: That means you heard it before it was released

            'Eclipse' seemed to be the album title of choice for a couple of years around the '71 and '72 eclipses. I would guess the 1973 Jade Warrior album was the conflicting one ... Can't believe a fundamentally experimental album is still being talked about and apparently still selling well nearly fifty years after its release. Also can't understand why there was not a single PF album in the second hand record shop I found the other day ... Genesis, Yes, ELP, Tomita but not a hint of Pinkness anywhere ...

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: That means you heard it before it was released

              Also can't understand why there was not a single PF album in the second hand record shop I found the other day

              I assume they all got worn out playing them.

              1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

                Re: That means you heard it before it was released

                Or people don't get rid of them.

                1. Wzrd1

                  Re: That means you heard it before it was released

                  "Or people don't get rid of them."

                  Or demand a wall around them... Paid for by them by proxy of one's own populace.

            2. JohnFen Silver badge

              Re: That means you heard it before it was released

              "Also can't understand why there was not a single PF album in the second hand record shop"

              Because Pink Floyd remains a top seller to this day. Particularly the albums before Waters left.

            3. Wzrd1

              Re: That means you heard it before it was released

              "Can't believe a fundamentally experimental album is still being talked about and apparently still selling well nearly fifty years after its release."

              Well, there were those Beatles and a certain White Album I owned. Alas, the kids managed to get it stolen while I was away at some tiff in a certain Gulf...

              But, for 'Eclipse', I was 10 or 11...

              Now, knees are gone, back is gone and BTW, is it the memory or something else that goes first and what's the other thing?

    2. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

      Re: What about

      @Pete4000uk "The aliens on the dark side, do they count?"

      Only Money.

  3. Chris G Silver badge

    One tiny ooze

    For Slimekind!

  4. Winkypop Silver badge
    Meh

    The clue is in the term

    "Mankind"

    (gender neutral by today's standards)

  5. SuccessCase

    Anthropod Neil Armstrong *was* the first to set foot on the moon.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Don't know if Armstrong would have take offense in being called as such... regardless if you wished to write arthropod or anthropoid...

      1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        "set foot"

        Neil Armstrong had feet , i'm guessing the microbes didnt.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "set foot"

          "Arthropod" refers to crabs, spiders and insects - not to any being with feet :-)

          While astronauts wore a kind of exoskeleton, and the LM was spider-like, I'm not sure they would like to be called that way...

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: "set foot"

            An "Arthropod" is an animal with a jointed exoskeleton, but the word itself means "jointed foot".

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

            2. Eltonga
              Headmaster

              Re: "set foot"

              Hmmmm... not actually an exoskeleton. More like an exoskin but that's totally unnecessary. An exoskeleton has physical support function that an astronaut nor any other kind of suit has not.

    2. MrReal

      Mankind hasn't visited the moon yet, much less some psyop from Langley.

      NASA provides zero proof of the trip, just their 'word', some bizarre photos and videos and improbable lumps of hardware.

      Even the article's photo is ridiculous, look past the lander: where's the ground gone?'. In all photos there is a maximum of around 30 feet of ground past the lander. This is because they are shot in the Borehamwood 2001 and UFO lunar surface sound stages that are of limited size. This is true from all angles.

      Later 'mission' photos were shot in the US desert and you can see the difference with the ground not being chopped off, but A11 photos all look silly, pool of light low surface area shots.

      NASA may have struggled into LEO with gemini but all the capsules from Apollo were pushed out of the back of a transport plane (the reason they all landed about 1 mile from the press boat each time - even the 'notepad' Apollo 13 one). The chances of Apollo 13 landing even in the Atlantic? Zero. Simple maths.

      1. JulieM Silver badge

        What a pity I can only downvote you once.

        1. MrReal

          Downvote away, I'm sure it's a good substitute for proof or discussion, neither of which you appear able to provide.

          There is no proof for Apollo. None.

          1. JulieM Silver badge

            Yes there is.

            That reflector.

  6. AceRimmer1980
    Alien

    Primordial soup dragons.

  7. werdsmith Silver badge

    Robust surviving earthly bacteria on the feet of the lunar module would have touched the lunar surface before the Armstrong moon-boot.

    1. ninjaturtle
      Coat

      Well they can't set foot without feet..

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Well they can't set foot without feet.."

        Do pseudopodia count?

        1. DJV Silver badge

          "Do pseudopodia count?"

          I asked one once, he formed a middle finger at me. So I suppose the answer is: "at least as far as one."

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      "Robust surviving earthly bacteria on the feet of the lunar module would have touched the lunar surface before the Armstrong moon-boot."

      Robust earthly-bacteria from a technician's sneeze are believed to have survived on the surface long enough to be _brought back_ when Pete Conrad chopped off Surveyor 3's camera in 1969. (This is controversial because it wasn't properly isolated during the return process but on the flipside only a few hundred bacteria of a single species were isolated vs the millions of various species you'd expect if it was the result of cross-contamination)

      This tends to indicate they went there with the first probes.

    3. LDS Silver badge
      Joke

      "the feet of the lunar module"

      Maybe the LM landed on the last surviving life form on the Moon....

      1. pɹɐʍoɔ snoɯʎuouɐ
        Facepalm

        Re: "the feet of the lunar module"

        "Maybe the LM landed on the last surviving life form on the Moon....

        i now have a mental image of a Monty Python type animation depicting the above scene, along with whoopee cushion sound effects....

  8. _LC_
    Facepalm

    This could explain the excess atmosphere, I guess.

    Apollo 15:

    https://youtu.be/TXs2UfPv39s?t=270

    1. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge

      Re: This could explain the excess atmosphere, I guess.

      More likely an attraction by static electricity. Keine luft!

      1. _LC_

        Re: This could explain the excess atmosphere, I guess.

        Nope. Doesn't fit to that movement. We could argue about the distance being to big for that, but since it doesn't even fit to the movement to begin with...

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's not surprising to hear the moon had residents before Armstrong got there.

    Wouldn't be the first time in history the white man set foot on a land and claimed Terra nullius. Oh look, he even planted a flag, how charmingly colonial.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Devil

      OTOH, we are still waiting for the space launch system from Wakanda.

      Wouldn't be the first time in history the white man set foot on a land and claimed Terra nullius.

      Pretty sure that never happened.

      Ultrakill later doesn't count.

  10. Symon Silver badge
    Coat

    I wonder if they had the UKIPs on the moon in those days?

    Bloody cynabacteria, coming over here with your phycobilisomes, raping our reducing atmosphere. What's wrong with getting your energy from hydrothermal vents? You get back down to the Earth, you photosynthetic prokaryote cunts.

    With apologies to Stewart Lee.

    https://youtu.be/tKEsyIuTrO8

  11. Qarumba

    "..one small step..."

    Neil Armstrong will always be the first man on the moon who made that giant leap for mankind. It's just a pity we have tripped over our own feet since then and never really took advantage of that giant leap.

    1. Bob Vistakin
      Megaphone

      Re: "..one small step..."

      You know NASA's official position on the telemetry tapes for all 6 missions is that they are "lost"? Someone totted up how much space and weight they would have taken up, and its just over 1 ton.

      Gosh, that is clumsy.

      1. cray74

        Re: "..one small step..."

        You know NASA's official position on the telemetry tapes for all 6 missions is that they are "lost"?

        NASA's official position is actually that they only lost Apollo 11's original video telemetry tapes. As NASA said, "First-generation copies of the converted video from Apollo 11 as well as other first-generation copies and some original versions of the converted video for the Apollo 12 through Apollo 17 flights are still in NASA Johnson Space Center's Informational Resources Directorate's video vault in Houston."

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "..one small step..."

          Complete cretins who have become unmoored from base reality and people with mental problems like schizophrenia will minutely analyze the shadows and listen for traffic noise caught on audio:

          Restored Apollo 11 EVA

          1. MrReal

            Re: "..one small step..."

            Other 'cretins' will marvel at the almost totally silent retro engine which after all is only a powerful rocket motor bolted onto the rigid LM.

            The missing noise speaks volumes louder than the recorded ones.

            1. JulieM Silver badge

              Re: "..one small step..."

              You need an atmosphere for sound to propagate through.

              1. MrReal

                Re: "..one small step..."

                "The Reg is not usually first port of call for the anti-science brigade."

                The cabin had atmosphere, they were not suited. The roar of the descent engine would have been huge.

      2. Wzrd1

        Re: "..one small step..."

        "Someone totted up how much space and weight they would have taken up, and its just over 1 ton."

        Which was raw telemetry, lousy with noise and transcribed/converted to various media forms that instrumentation and humans could use, leaving it a ton of crap to find storage space for, likely to never be asked for again.

        Since the data was available in every format known at the time.

        How horrible of them to not demand the evacuation of a moderate sized city and retain each and every original recording medium, regardless of how wasteful of tax dollars that would be!

        How about you build a time machine and volunteer to store all of that crap?

        1. LDS Silver badge

          "transcribed/converted to various media forms"

          Some of them, in a lossy way.

          AFAIK the video of Armstrong was received in Australia, and there "converted" using a camera pointed at the monitor - and the frame rate was also different between the Apollo camera and the TV needs.

          Then the tapes with the original transmission recorded in Australia were sent to Huston, and there somehow "lost".

          Probably today, it the tapes are still readable, it would be possible to obtain a far more better video.

          Hope someone at NASA is looking in every corner and every cabinet, including those in disused lavatories with signs "beware of the leopard".

          Unless they ended in some forgotten top secret archive, maybe next the Hjorth's films of D-Day....

        2. Bob Vistakin
          Megaphone

          Re: "..one small step..."

          https://youtu.be/ygnTysoKnvU

      3. Eltonga

        Re: "..one small step..."

        You know NASA's official position on the telemetry tapes for all 6 missions is that they are "lost"?

        IIRC, what was lost was the high definition tapes taken from the local feed and not from the received data.

        1. MrReal

          Re: "..one small step..."

          It's ALL lost though.

          If you go to the NASA websites about Apollo there is no 'best' or 'official' video, it's all weird videos from Joe Public.

          There's not even one continuous video of the A11 takeoff from launch to 2nd stage ignition.

          Not one!!! The popular ones of the stage separation are fakes: the 2nd stage burns yellow in those but the SaturnV 2nd stage was hydrogen/LOX = a pale blue flame.

          Try it yourself, go to NASA, try to find the videos of the takeoff and mission that should have been the most important expedition of mankind: they appear to be remarkably careless with both data and presentation.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @MrReal

            What a mishmash of odd claims you make

            (1) whether NASA's website features them or not, lots of A11 launch footage exists and is easy to find. You don't appear to be claiming that Saturn V rockets never existed so what does it matter whether NASA's politics/marketing decides to feature particular content?

            (2) If there is no single continuous film of the first stage burn this isn't all that surprising since at burnout it was 62km high and 93km downrange from the launch pad; the view from tracking telescopes in the Bahamas may be superior. Once again, so what? (unless you doubt that any kind of rocket flew into orbit at all)

            (3) The stage separation films come from Apollo 4. The initial burst of yellow flame isn't pure H2/O2 - from the annotation of Apollo 8 flight journal: "Half a second after shutdown of the first stage, the four ullage motors mounted around the interstage ignite, followed a fifth of a second later by a command to fire the first separation explosive and ignition of the eight retro rockets mounted in the conical fairings near the base of the S-IC. The two sets of rockets firing in opposite directions pull the two sections of the vehicle apart. Physical separation comes soon after and half a second later, the J-2 engines on the S-II stage are started." - to which you can add that the colourless exhaust then playing on the top of the receding first stage is also producing brief incandescence.

            (4) "Project orion: 18 years in and they just got around to landing with parachutes. You think they did it in 2-3 years in the late 1960s" - no, I think they did parachute landing in the early 60s. All US manned capsule craft landed under parachutes, and Mercury and Gemini were designed, built, and flown in a few years. This doesn't make Apollo look impossible, it simply highlights how dire Orion has been

            (5) If the moon was smooth then a chest-mounted camera would see the horizon 2200m away. Undulating cratered terrain will shorten that view (just as a boat in rough seas has on average a restricted horizon of relatively near wave-tops), uplands and mountains will lengthen it. Mare Tranquillitatis was the landing site for Apollo 11 precisely because it was big and flat, landing perhaps 90km from any really interesting terrain made for dull photos but better chance of success.

            And so on...

    2. MrReal

      Re: "..one small step..."

      Because that giant leap was a giant leap of faith for mankind as one man stepped onto a sound stage in MGM Borehamwood a giant 250,000 miles away from the moon.

      Neil refused to speak of it later, sulked at the press conference and resign to live in obscurity shortly after.

      The whole story is bunk.

      1. JulieM Silver badge

        Re: "..one small step..."

        Convincingly faking the Moon landings would have been more effort than landing on the Moon for real.

        1. MrReal

          Re: "..one small step..."

          Perhaps true, but the fakery is not convincing at all.

          Travelling there would require far more R&D than they had or did. It would required a decent rocket (so not the Saturn V with it's hugely inefficient F1 motors) and a CM with enough space for the gear, astronauts and parachutes (it's too small).

          It would also have to do something about the aluminium shell converting hard radiation to neutron and hard X ray showers which would not only kill the occupants but also fog the film. Spot any film fogging? Me neither.

          The first photos are faked so badly they have no ground area, the LM is always about 30 feet from a convenient cliff (in the Mare they landed... duh!). But this is the same from all angles - duh!

          Later photos are taken in the US desert and so completely different, yet we are told they visited the same moon. The fakery is terrible - so of course it was much easier than going, which was (and is) impossible. Duh.

          Look at Project orion: 18 years in and they just got around to landing with parachutes. You think they did it in 2-3 years in the late 1960s while shooting MLK and losing in Vietnam? Really??

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    burkina faso into the space age.

    All very interesting but an obvious leap once you suggest similar events elsewhere.

    At the end of the day lets say there is a rock and an area with some evidence.

    Which nation is going to launch a mission to randomly sift through dust on the moon?

    Actually now I thing about it some minor player on the world stage should launch a rocket up

    into the sky and say its their mission and give regular updates on its progress to keep themselves

    in the public eye as a major player in space.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lunarcy

    Interesting research.

    I wonder if we are all Martians, if the Moon was seeded by martian meteorites and life then spread to Earth.

    Intriguing isn't the word, this could essentially demolish the whole life-started-on-Earth geocentrism.

    Also relevant: could the Moon have active life on it deep underground eg in caverns?

    It would be worth looking for transient lunar events and scanning the areas for evidence of methane and other biological gases in case they are actually more interesting than static discharge or puffs of dust emitted from rockslides etc.

    1. DanceMan

      Re: deep underground eg in caverns?

      Hollywood figured this out many decades ago, at least as early as Flash Gordon.

  14. Crisp Silver badge

    Make Luna Green Again

    Give us a couple of years and we could have a self sustaining water mining operation with domes for producing fuel to power the rockets to send Moon grown vegetables to Earth.

    1. ravenviz Silver badge

      Re: Make Luna Green Again

      What for? We can already do it here.

  15. Primus Secundus Tertius Silver badge

    Why cyanobacteria

    Why the mention of cyanobacteria? They are highly evolved photosynthetic creatures.

    There are many more primitive types of bacteria, at home in a neutral or reducing chemical environment, that would fit the dates of 4.5 billion and 3.5 billion years ago.

  16. Henry Hallan

    This underlines the point that, if the Moon were suddenly provided with atmosphere and oceans, they would last millions of years. SF talks of terraforming places like Mars and even Venus, but misses our nearest neighbour!

    A few years of cometary bombardment, some blue-green algae and another continent's worth of land.

    Mine's the one with the attached wings - because on a terraformed Moon, human-powered flight would be easy!

    1. Just Enough

      "suddenly provided with atmosphere and oceans"

      Where from? Terraforming is largely about taking what's already there and rearranging it so it can support life. If the required molecules aren't to be found, you are severely limited in what you can do.

      1. cray74

        Terraforming is largely about taking what's already there and rearranging it so it can support life.

        Then you're never going to terraform Mars. Its native nitrogen and water resources are very limited. Getting a sufficiently thick atmosphere would require very large nitrogen and water imports, and I don't mean sci-fi's popular, "hit it with a few comets."

        Native Martian water resources would cover the surface to a depth of about 6 meters. Concentrated in the likely lowlands - the North Polar Basin that covers 40% of Mars' surface - and you get an "ocean" of 15 meters depth. To fill the North Polar Basin to 1 kilometer depth (a useful ocean size for supporting a global water cycle), you'd need another 58 million cubic kilometers of water. That's a sphere of water about 480km in diameter, or more than the entire water content of Enceladus or Ceres.

        Nitrogen is similarly in short supply. To get an Earth-like atmospheric composition for a world with 28% of Earth's surface area, you need to import about 28% of Earth's atmospheric mass of nitrogen. (That's ignoring the difference in scale heights due to lower gravity.) Since Earth probably doesn't want to share then you'd need to remove about 24% of Titan's atmospheric mass or 9% of Venus's nitrogen.

        A one-stop source for Martian terraforming might be Titan. Get some von Neumann robots running wild and you can strip-mine its crust to about 1 kilometer depth for sufficient water, liquefy a quarter of its atmosphere for the nitrogen, and start flinging the goods to Mars by mass driver. If you're thinking of terraforming Venus, it has excess nitrogen (three times' Earth's inventory) and plenty of spare carbon that would be useful on Mars.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          " Getting a sufficiently thick atmosphere would require"

          And you also need to keep it there.... which would require a magnetic field as well to shield it from Sun energetic particles. Which also are not nice to life forms.

          1. cray74

            Re: " Getting a sufficiently thick atmosphere would require"

            And you also need to keep it there.... which would require a magnetic field as well to shield it from Sun energetic particles. Which also are not nice to life forms

            An Earth-like atmosphere offers radiation shielding similar to about 10 meters of water, which will stop any electrons, protons, or x-rays from the Sun. With sufficient oxygen, it will also screen UV radiation, too.

            That does leave the problem of solar wind erosion of the atmosphere, but Mars should be able to hold an Earth-like atmosphere for about 100 million years. That moves the issue of atmospheric erosion firmly into the category of "let the grand kids deal with it." ;)

            1. MacroRodent Silver badge

              Re: " Getting a sufficiently thick atmosphere would require"

              By the time there is technology to give Mars a thick atmosphere, adding a global magnetic field is a piece of cake. Huge superconduction coil round the equator!

        2. Just Enough

          Which are all good reason why Mars will never be terraformed. At least not in the next thousand years.

          Planets are gravity wells that are a pain to climb out of. Expansion in the solar system is going to bypass them.

      2. MrReal

        Atmospheres come from the rocks and surface, the Moon is continuously generating an atmosphere but it simply gets blown away by the solar winds.

        Mars is similar but has residual magnetic fields that preserve some of the emitted atmosphere so you see wind events there.

        Atmosphere is simply down to having a global magnetic field, create one for the moon and the atmosphere will stop being swept away and collect just like on earth.

        As for water, probably buried under the surface, some as ice. Space has loads of water so it would be shocking if the moon had none.

  17. Paul

    "There is also a more water concentrations"

    "There is also a more water concentrations"

    yuck!

  18. spold Bronze badge

    I'm sure it evolved... and then promptly buggered off to somewhere else with a pool and a bar. Let's go this place has no atmosphere...

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And I could be someone else's dream from a different galaxy, move along nothing to see here except the research grant begging bowl.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      I do wonder about the begging bowl. There's just way to many "what if", "maybe", "possibly" in all this. Someone wants to play "woulda', shoulda', coulda' " under the guise of research and probable while getting paid for it.

      This not to criticize thinking, dreaming, or speculation. There's just too many unknowns that would need to come together at the right time and in the right order for this to happen and too many things not there to prevent it from happening.

  20. jaffa99

    Bacteria are not space aliens

    They're at it again, 'boffins' pretending that bacteria is the same as 'space aliens'. They're not, no-one cares if an asteroid, or mars, or one of Jupiters moons has some bacteria on it, even less so if it's long dead bacteria. No-one ever wrote a Sci-fi film where the humans leave earth in a huge ship, spending decades in 'stasis' to reach another solar system and find some microbes.

    'Boffins' stop pretending that your life's work and all the funding are worthwhile because you found 3 billion year old fossils that are evidence of some prehistoric bacterial life. Unless it has a weapon or at least is more intelligent than my dog I don't want to know.

    1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: Bacteria are not space aliens

      I think you have the wrong website. The Reg is not usually first port of call for the anti-science brigade.

      And you are literally incorrect. You write "No-one care if an asteroid ...[]...has some life on it". First, this is about the Moon, not the places you mentioned. Second, obviously some people do care. (Starting at the top with Carolyn Porco, who has her own Wikipedia page, and working down to the likes of us.)

      1. MrReal

        Re: Bacteria are not space aliens

        "The Reg is not usually first port of call for the anti-science brigade."

        It is when it comes to the fictional story of Apollo and a few other government myths.

        The Apollo story is anti-science. It's proof and evidence free, it's simply a belief like religion.

        1. DamnedIfIKnow

          Re: Bacteria are not space aliens

          It's a shame you couldn't be sent there with them.

          Since you believe it was all shot on a sound stage, you won't mind being the one without the space suit then, will you?

          1. MrReal

            Re: Bacteria are not space aliens

            You are a triumph of belief over science, and your emotions are showing.

            The evidence clearly points to a sound stage on earth, have you tried actually looking at the NASA pictures??

            There are AS15 or AS16 pictures with orange juice stains on the reticule of the camera that appears after they stop for a film change on the lunar surface. As their suits leaked orange juice I'd suggest that wearing one was roughly equivalent of not wearing one at all, even with the fictional cooling systems they had which clearly didn't stand a chance of working either.

            You'll also notice that none of them ever jump properly high and they always waste 20 minutes winching the lunar rover down - which on the moon should only weigh < 40kg and is therefore an easy lift.

            Then there's the cornering of the lunar rover - smooth tyres on dust (sand) with 1/6th the downforce on earth yet going around corners like it's on rails. Scientifically impossible - it would be like driving on ice.

            Use your brain, not your emotion and belief.

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Bacteria are not space aliens

      Unless it has a weapon or at least is more intelligent than my dog I don't want to know.

      Literally Nazi Philosophy.

      They got their asses whipped and just were lucky that the show was over before an excuse could be found to nuke Berlin for good measure.

      Somebody was more capable of abstract thought elsewhere. Tough.

    3. Mike 137

      Re: Bacteria are not space aliens

      "No-one ever wrote a Sci-fi film where the humans leave earth in a huge ship, spending decades in 'stasis' to reach another solar system and find some microbes."

      Actually I wrote a short story along these lines a few dacades back, but you're right in a way - it wasn't exactly a blockbuster.

      1. onefang Silver badge

        Re: Bacteria are not space aliens

        "Actually I wrote a short story along these lines a few dacades back, but you're right in a way - it wasn't exactly a blockbuster."

        I'm sure Asimov and / or someone wrote such a story. From a very vague memory, planet wide hive mind that included microbes. May have been called Nemesis, and I may be entirely wrong. I'm too busy these days to go and reread it.

        Though I think they didn't use stasis.

  21. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

    Simple explanation

    Organic life develops on Moon.

    Starts to worry about climate change and threat of asteroid impacts.

    Decides it needs to colonise space.

    Starts with the Earth.

    Uses up all natural resources getting there.

    Eaten by dinosaurs.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Simple explanation

      Good premise for a science fiction film/series/etc.

      But what to call it.

      "One small step" ?

      "Invasion from the Dark Side"

      1. DropBear Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Simple explanation

        "Plan ten from outer space"...? Nine sounds vaguely catchier but I've heard it's taken...

  22. Apple Dave

    We are scientists, not "boffins"

    Why can't you just use the word scientists? Boffins is an anti-intellectual term that implies that scientists are not real people and are some sort of weird creature that doesn't live in the real world. It actively discourages children from scientific careers because they're scared of being labelled a boffin. Think twice about your language next time you write a science article.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: "Boffins is an anti-intellectual term"

      Boffins is a term of endearment - if we don't call scientists boffins, we get complaints.

      Chill out.

      C.

    2. DamnedIfIKnow

      Re: We are scientists, not "boffins"

      Apple Dave:

      I think you are 100% wrong.

      Kids like 'boffins' and 'propeller heads'. They want to be them.

      They the like the pics of the older Einstein with the wild hair, and the white - coated lunatic professor who blows himself up for the Nth time, shrugs, and just says 'Oh well, back to the drawing board'.

      If all science had to offer was stern admonitions from the likes of you to act grown up, they'd never go in for it.

      They're not grown up, they're kids. The very first thing it must do is appeal to their sense of fun.

      Actually, that should apply to all who do science, child or adult.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But NASA still haant found....

    The telemetry data.

    You only lose the data, if the data was so glaringly fake, it was easier to say you lost it.

    And humans are supposed to be intelligent? I think they are, just blinded by the hype.

    1. MrReal

      Re: But NASA still haant found....

      They still have the A11 flight journal.

      You can read it on the NASA websites although they move it around a lot. Use Google.

      It gives distances from earth too, with timestamps.

      When you read it you'll notice that they spend around 11 hours (there + back) in the Van Allen distances of earth. With a 90 minute (IIRC) orbit that's impossible to miss the belts, so they'd be fried.

      The project Orion's one (unmanned) flight into a slice of Van Allen belt was done with the cabin camera switched off 'to protect it from radiation'.

      So how did Apollo do it? How did they not get sick? How did the film not fog? Because they didn't go.

      1. MrReal

        Re: But NASA still haant found....

        LOL at the thumbs down - what's up with you people????

        In the post I have simply stated a series of verifiable facts that you can directly check at NASA, if you do you will find that my post is 100% correct.

        Have you read the A11 flight journals at NASA? They are on their website.

        Have you read about the project Orion test flight 1? It's on their website.

        Your belief system is so solid mere facts with NASA proof are not enough to sway it, amazing. I can only point out the information for you, it's ridiculous that you are scared of data from your own beloved NASA.

        NASA also publish the landing accuracy of the splashdowns: Apollo 13 was 1 NM to target. Amazing for a crew who were worried they may entirely miss the earth. Try thinking, not simply believing like good little sheep.

      2. cray74

        Re: But NASA still haant found....

        When you read it you'll notice that they spend around 11 hours (there + back) in the Van Allen distances of earth. With a 90 minute (IIRC) orbit that's impossible to miss the belts, so they'd be fried.

        You recall incorrectly. The Apollo missions completely dodged the inner Van Allen belt and only passed through the fringes of the outer belt. During that time, the astronauts were restricted to the thick-skinned Apollo capsule. All that ablative heat shield - mostly carbon and hydrogen - does a great job of soaking up Van Allen electrons.

        I'm sure you know Earth's magnetic field is substantially tilted compared to the moon's orbit. Between the tilt of the field and Luna's orbital inclination, there's almost a 30-degree difference between the two, which allows a low-orbiting Apollo stack to dodge the inner belt.

        Diagram of the dodge around the belt

        1. MrReal

          Re: But NASA still haant found....

          The A11 story/journal says that they took off and went into a stable earth orbit "the orbital period is 1 hour, 28 minutes, 16 seconds" according to the journal.

          They then did a burn that took them nearly 6 hours to get from 1000 miles to 6000 miles away from earth, past the belts.

          You and your lovely diagram claim that they could accelerate from a 90 minute orbit out to 6000 miles and miss the belts entirely like a helicopter, but the Apollo boosters simply didn't have the power to leave the earth in under 90 minutes (< 1 orbit) as the diagram suggests: it took nearly 6 hours according to NASA, which would entail a spiralling orbit as the journal describes in detail.

          Of course as the distance increased the orbit would slow like a ballet dancer opening her arms, but it would happen gradually so I'd still expect around 4 decent orbits - orbits that are impossible to dodge the belts from.

          Therefore they must have spent a considerable amount of time in the middle of both belts according to the NASA journals, which frankly trump your diagram.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: But NASA still haant found....

            A spiralling orbit, completing 4 further orbits? Nope: the TLI burn lasted just 348 seconds, after that it's all down to the interplay of velocity and gravity - what would be the force raising those successive orbits?

            Hmmm: you say "it took nearly 6 hours according to NASA", actually it took nearly six minutes of burn. Perhaps you've misread the timestamps? If so you might want to revisit some of your other thinking

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Its very probable that evidence of early earth life will be found there that has been transported by meteor impact on the earth.

    However the assumption that life can be formed without intelligent design is just that - the recent first life conference ruled out earth as a possible place for abiogenesis. Of course most biologists want to hold on to a Darwinian model - but there really isn't any solid testable theory that could give rise to life on earth from inorganic chemicals by random chance. The RNA hypothesis is a dead end, Miller's experiments would never work, protein folding is a huge problem, the extreme unlikelihood of successful mutations producing viable enzymes (1 in 10 to the power 77) is the same as finding one individual atom in the entire galaxy. There is no 'blind watchmaker' of natural selection acting at the level of mutation.

    1. _LC_
      Holmes

      Probably a Troll

      Hence, God created bacteria. The bacteria then evolved? Fascinating! ;-)

      1. LDS Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Probably a Troll

        I just wonder where he found a rib in the Adam bacterium to create the Eve one... although, the legend is about something akin to a form of mitosis...

    2. JulieM Silver badge

      However vastly improbable it might be for life to have started Just By Itself out of nowhere, from simple particles to heavier atoms to self-replicating molecules to intelligent beings, that is still Well Worth a Punt compared to the even vaster improbability of a super-complex Intelligent Designer arising Just By Itself out of nowhere.

      Also, don't forget, when considering many processes coming together, you only have to account for the slowest one. Anything that happens faster than that will already have happened by the critical moment.

  25. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

    So... cyanobacteria are known for their pedal extremities, then?

  26. stewate4

    Arthur C Clarke and 'The Sentinel'

    The Arthur C Clarke story 'The Sentinel' (remote 'ancestor' of his film 2001: A Space Odyssey) has moon explorers finding life on the moon

    'The only living things that had ever existed there were a few primitive plants and their slightly less degenerate ancestors.'

    I remember thinking when I read it as a kid that it was unlikely as the Moon could never have had an atmosphere. Seems I was wrong.

    1. MrReal

      Re: Arthur C Clarke and 'The Sentinel'

      Planetary atmospheres are formed from outgassing from the surface. On the earth subsequent biological processes have modified surface outgassing to modify the atmosphere too.

      The key to atmosphere is to capture the gasses from the surface, for that you need a global magnetic field strong enough to divert the solar wind, which causes the atmosphere to form and also forms a double stage radiation shield which encourages life.

      So if the moon ever had a decent global magnetic field - which it almost certainly did at one point early on - it would have had an atmosphere, the same with Mars. Venus has a decent magnetic field and therefore has an atmosphere, but the heat means that it's quite unlike earth's: it's too near the sun for it to be benign which is why heavy gasses like CO2 dominate.

  27. MrReal

    Buzz also says they didn't go to the moon.

    An interesting proof of my simple observation that obviously NASA made it all up and they didn't go, Buzz Aldrin now also says that they didn't go:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2f4pc2JgHI

    Enjoy. Sometimes governments and defence departments lie about classified missions.

    (NASA is a DOD organisation and Apollo is still classified).

    1. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

      Re: Buzz also says they didn't go to the moon.

      I see your moon landing hoax conspiracy video and raise you a counter-video.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_loUDS4c3Cs

    2. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

      Re: Buzz also says they didn't go to the moon.

      Also Snopes. https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/buzz-aldrin-moon-admission/

      Go peddle yer papers.

  28. snooty

    The Charles Hall about Area 51 interview was interesting

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