Now, fast forward to today.
"The claim that a microbe survived 2.5 years on the moon was flimsy, at best, even by the standards of the time," said John Rummel, chairman of the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) Panel on Planetary Protection. "The claim never passed peer review, yet has persisted in the press -- and on the Internet -- ever since." [Coolest New Moon Discoveries]
The Surveyor 3 camera-team thought they had detected a microbe that had lived on the moon for all those years, "but they only detected their own contamination," Rummel told SPACE.com.