Thousands of microscopic, almost indestructible beings named tardigrades are probably living on the surface of the Moon after Israelian probe Beresheet crash-landed a few months ago.
What was on the mission ship
The tardigrades that landed on the moon were dehydrated and enclosed in a kind of epoxy known as “Artificial Amber”, where they were safely preserved for future revival. They were also accompanied by a collection of human history and DNA, which can be observed under microscopes in Arch’s “Lunar Library”, which is a nano DVD – like device, intended as a quick reference brochure to humanity.
Small but tough
Nova Spivack, whose Arch Mission Foundation focused on spreading “backups” of human knowledge and earthly biology beyond our planet, stated: “We believe the chances of survival for the tardigrades… are extremely high”. The statement was based on an analysis of the trajectory of the crashed probe and the device that hosted the tiny creatures.
Tardigrades are well known for being Earth’s ultimate survivors: If they did not burn up in the explosion of the probe when it crashed the Moon, they could probably survive for years, as their bodies adapted to easily withstand great amounts of radiation and extreme temperatures.
Cassie Conley, a NASA biologist, says that the epoxy’s toxic chemicals or glue are a greater threat to the Tardigrades’ lives than the harsh conditions of the Moon.
Possibility of multiplying?
Unfortunately, tardigrade expert William Miller argued that the creatures would need air, water and food to grow, reproduce and develop a colony, so they would need a further mission to aid their survival, but the chance for this to happen is slim.