Israel’s Crashed Lunar Probe Poured Tardigrades on the Moon

by Ernest Thomas
Israel’s Crashed Lunar Probe Poured Tardigrades on the Moon

Some guests have recently landed on Moon’s surface. A bundle of tiny creatures, tardigrades, traveled aboard Beresheet, the Israeli spacecraft. It collided on the moon before few months, in April. But as those water bears can stay alive in the extreme, maybe the microscopic astronauts are still active. You will find the organism, not longer than one millimeter, all over the world in places having extreme environments, including icy mountains, sea beds, etc. Even more, the creatures can stay alive without oxygen and water for a long period of time.

While they enter into suspended animation, which is a health condition. In this case, the tardigrade’s body dries out, and its metabolism goes low. But if we place a dehydrated tardigrade in water,  it can become active in a few hours. Scientists often call tardigrades as water bears or moss piglets. If we see the creatures under the microscope, it looks like a potato having a fleshy body and tiny claws along with eight legs.

 After lifting-up from Earth on 22nd February, it took around two months for Beresheet to get close to the lunar surface. The mission failed to softly land due to a technical flaw which caused engine failure. Eventually, the Israeli lunar probe crashed onto moon’s surface. The Arch Mission Foundation, a non-profit company, aimed to build a back-up for the Earth. The company had placed a stack of DVD-sized disks that included millions of pages of information about the planet. The Israeli probe ferried the payload to the moon. Along with the collection and samples of human DNA, the company had attached thousands of tardigrades to it. Thus Beresheet took a massive fleet of so-called water bears to the Moon.

According to Nova Spivack, the founder of the Arch Mission Foundation, the library and creatures might have survived after the collision. He added, their payload may be the only thing that remained alive from that spacecraft. It also means that those tiny water bears are currently chilling on the lunar land. Still, they are not active, as they are in dehydrated. But if somehow they get in contact with water on the moon, there are chances the creatures will rehydrate. In the end, it will need water, oxygen, and food for them to re-alive.

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