'Water Bears' Survive Unprotected In Space

Tiny tardigrades, also called water bears are the first animals known to survive the pitiless rigors of space, including hard vacuum, cosmic rays, freezing cold and solar UV rays 1,000 times as strong as those experienced on Earth's surface.


(Tardigrades - water bears - survive rigors of space)

These microscopic animals - just 1.5 millimeters in size when full-grown - are found in lichens or moss, in soil, on mountaintops and in ocean floor sediment at depths of 13,000 feet.

"They have claws and eyes. They are real animals. And this is the first time such an animal was tested in space," said Petra Rettberg, an Institute of Aerospace Medicine microbiologist, who helped design a tardigrade containment system attached to the Foton-M3 satellite, launched last September by a consortium of national space agencies.

When no water is available, water bears enter an anhydrobiotic state, slowing their metabolism by a factor of 10,000. Two species of tardigrades Richtersius coronifer and Milnesium tardigradum - were used in the experiment. Once in orbit, the tardigrade box on the side of the space capsule popped open, exposing the water bears to the rigors of space, unprotected by tiny space suits.

After ten days of exposure, the creatures were returned to earth, where results were gathered.

"We found that both species of tardigrades survived exposure to space vacuum alone very well, with no significant difference in survival pattern compared to ground controls," says astrobiologist Rettberg. "Samples exposed to the combined effect of vacuum and solar radiation had significantly reduced survival."

Fans of the sf series Farscape may recall the Luxans, a species able to survive unprotected exposure to the vacuum and radiation of space for about fifteen minutes.


(Luxan)

Read more at Daily Mail and Scientific American; see also these details about Luxans. Thanks to Moira for another great scoop.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 9/12/2008)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Space Tech ")

Johns Hopkins Says Asteroid Deflection Will Be Difficult
'This obelisk is one huge deflector mechanism...' - Gene Roddenberry, 1968.

Hayabusa 2 To Begin Asteroid Mining
'We must dig down, and then doubtless we shall find the metal.' - Garrett P. Serviss, 1898.

Can Musk Starship Astronauts Use Magnetic Boots?
'Walking awkwardly in the magnetic boots that held him to the black mass of meteoric iron...'

Giant Dolphin Spotted On Jupiter!
'Now at last he could appreciate its real size and complexity...'

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Unfurl The Future! Huawei Mate X versus Galaxy Fold
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled silently from the top of the unit and immediately grew rigid.'

Amazon Echo And Google Home Should Have Morality Software
'The Dwoskin Morality Rating-Computer could 'spot the slightest tendency to deviation' from the social norm...'

China Building Robot Wives
'Want a life-companion, a pleasant one?'

China Social Credit System Like State-Run Whuffie
'At least there was no mandatory Whuffie check on the monorail platform...'

Project Soli Radar Gesture Chip Now FCC Approved
'He waved his hand and the circuit switched abruptly.'

Stan, Robot Valet, Will Drag Your Car Away
'He activated the grapple tracks. '

Jibo Home Robot Says Goodbye, Is Killswitched
'It resembles an oyster....'

Johns Hopkins Says Asteroid Deflection Will Be Difficult
'This obelisk is one huge deflector mechanism...'

Fabric Automatically Cools Or Insulates Based On Environment
'...a high-efficiency filter and heat-exchange system.'

Deepfakes From OpenAI GPT-2 Algorithm
'How can you compete with an IBM heavy-duty logomatic analogue?'

John Deere Self-Driving Tractor
'The huge plow... seemed to shake itself - and began to move back southward.'

North Focals Smart Glasses Provide Augmented Reality In Style
'The world ... is drenched in unfamiliar information all the way to the horizon.'

Tesla Driver Caught Napping Behind The Wheel
'Mary Risling settled back for a little nap...'

Hayabusa 2 To Begin Asteroid Mining
'We must dig down, and then doubtless we shall find the metal.'

Ionocraft Drone Powered By Electrohydrodynamic Thrust
'He saw one hiss by him as he rounded the corner, trailing a short whip antenna...'

Purdue Pharma Ready To Profit From OxyContin Use Or Addiction Recovery
'It may be organic damage. It may be permanent. Time'll tell, and only after you are off Substance D for a long while.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.