Contamination on moon feared due to Israeli spacecraft crashing on surface

Shazma Khan August 7, 2019

We already have contaminated the Earth and now seems like we have contaminated the moon too after the crashed Israeli spacecraft might have splattered many water bears on the lunar surface.

Back in April, the Israeli spacecraft Beresheet failed its landing attempt on the moon and crashed into the surface. The craft was carrying thousands of dehydrated tardigrades, also known as water bears, and they might have spilled all over the moon’s surface, reported Wired.

The robotic lander Beresheet carried human DNA samples, the tardigrades, and 30 million tiny digitized pages of information about human society and culture. However, it is not known if the archive and water bears survived the explosive impact when the lander crashed.

Israel fails to make history as spacecraft crashes into moon right before touchdown

Both the DNA samples and tardigrades were sealed in a resin layer protecting the DVD-sized lunar library, whereas thousands more tardigrades were poured onto the sticky tape that held the archive in place.

The reason to send these water bears on moon is because they are microscopic creatures some 0.002 and 0.05 inches long, and are more popular for their near-indestructibility. These creatures can survive conditions that would be deadly to other life forms, weathering temperature extremes of -200 C to over -149 C. Also, they can survive exposure to the radiation and space vacuum, as per Live Science.

Tardigrades are also able to dehydrate their bodies into a state called ‘tun’, where they retract their heads and legs, expel water from their bodies and shrink into a tiny ball. Also, they can revive back from this dehydrated state after 10 years or more.

Hence, it is believed that any creature surviving the crash-landing in space might be a tardigrade, but it is still not sure if they did or not.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019

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