NASA publishes images never before seen of how they searched for signs of life in the lunar samples of Apollo 11

NASA sought life in the lunar samples of Apollo 11, as shown in the following images never seen before by biologists and chemists at the NASA Ames Research Center in California that they look for signs of life in the samples brought by the Apollo 11 astronauts in 1969.

The images were recorded in an obsolete 16 mm film format and digitized and remastered for dissemination.

Life on the moon

The analyzes, performed at both Ames and the Johnson Space Center in Houston, conclusively demonstrated that the Moon was, as suspected, devoid of living organisms. But it was the first time that something like this was analyzed, as he explains Johnson falls, Ames biologist, now retired, who worked with the lunar samples of Apollo:

We were really worried about contamination of the samples with our own bacteria. We had to be careful not to introduce a microbe into the samples and then falsely say that we had found life.

These tests marked the early stages of the exobiology, often known today as astrobiology, the branch of science that seeks to understand the origin, evolution, distribution and future of life on Earth and in the universe.

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