Friday, August 09, 2019
Life on the Moon (?)
Tardigrades, as you can see by the picture above, are pudgy little animals no longer than one millimeter long. They live in water or in the film of water on plants like lichen or moss, and can be found all over the world, in some of the most extreme environments, from icy mountains and polar regions to the balmy equator and the depths of the sea.
Along with the creatures, the ship also carried an archive of 30 million pages of information about planet Earth, as well as human DNA samples and a payload of the little creatures which had been dehydrated.
According to Nova Spivack, co-founder of the mission, "Best-case scenario is that the little library is fully intact, sitting on a nice sandy hillside on the Moon for a billion years. In the distant future it might be recovered by our descendants or by a future form of intelligent life that might evolve long after we're gone. From the DNA and the cells that we included, you could clone us and regenerate the human race and other plants and animals."
As far as the tardigrades are concerned, they will not be able to reproduce or move around in their dehydrated state, but if they survived the crash and are rehydrated they can come back to life years later.