There could be life on the moon: thousands of nearly indestructible creatures that withstand extreme radiation, sizzling heat, the coldest temperatures in the universe, and decades without food.
These fearsome-sounding creatures are not aliens, but microscopic earthlings known as Tardigrades, who have probably made it to life after a crash landing on the lunar surface by Israel's Beresheet probe in April, the US organization responsible for their voyage said Tuesday.
Based on an analysis of the trajectory of the spacecraft and the composition of the device in which the microtians were stored, we believe that the survival chances for the Tardigrades are extremely high, Nova Spivack, co-founder and chairman of the Arch Mission Foundation, said AFP.
The nonprofit association is dedicated to disseminating backups of human knowledge and biology of the Earth throughout the solar system. This task is similar to the creation of an "Encyclopedia Galactica", which was first mentioned by the science fiction author Isaac Asimov.
Tardigrades are ideal to include because they are microscopic, multi-cellular and one of the most enduring life forms on planet Earth, "said Spivack.
He added that the tiny creatures were less than a millimeter in size dehydrated to give it a floating animation, then "wrapped in an artificial amber epoxy resin and should be revivable in the future."
The tardigrades were stored in a "Lunar Library", a nanotechnology device one recalls DVD and contains a 30 million page archive of human history that can be viewed under the microscope, as well as human DNA.
Spivack is confident that these effects have survived, but does not represent the first deposited genetic Code or life forms on the barren celestial bodies.
This distinction applies to DNA and microbes contained in the nearly 1
No Rescue Mission
Also known as water bears or moose pigs, tardigrades can live in water or on land, reaching temperatures of up to 150 degrees Celsius (302 degrees Fahrenheit) and down to minus 272 degrees Celsius ( -) to survive. 458 Fahrenheit), albeit for a few minutes.
The maggot-shaped eight-legged creatures can return desiccated to a lifeless shell for decades and withstand near zero pressure and depth of crushing soil Mariana Trench.
If they did not burn in an explosion, they could theoretically survive the tiny pressure on the lunar surface and extreme temperatures, said William Miller, a Tardigrade expert at Baker University, to AFP.
] "But taking action to row, eat, and reproduce, they would need water, air, and food," so they could not multiply and form a colony, he added.
NASA astrobiologist Cassie Conley said that her exact survival time would depend on the state of the impact and the temperatures to which they are exposed.
"If they do not get too hot, it is possible that they will survive for quite a long time (many years)," she told AFP.
"I would be more worried that the animals will be affected." She added that toxic chemicals from the epoxy resin or glue "were used to store them, unlike the conditions in outer space."
Even though the creatures lived for several years, no mission to the moon with crew is scheduled until NASA's Artemis program in the South Pole in 2024 – far from Beresheet's Sea of Serenity crash site, so they probably will not make it home.
"They are unlikely to be rescued in time, so I think that this even if they survived, they are doomed to fail, "said Rafael Alves Batista, a physicist at the University of Sao Paulo who co-authored 2017 an article on the extreme resilience of Tardigrades, to AFP.
Little "water bears" can teach us about survival
© 2019 AFP
Hordes of the World's Hardest Creatures Can Now Live on the Moon (2019, Aug 7)
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