The odds of finding life on the moon have suddenly rocketed skywards. But rather than elusive alien moonlings, the beings in question came from Earth and were spilled across the landscape when a spacecraft crashed into the surface.
The Israeli Beresheet probe was meant to be the first private lander to touch down on the moon. And all was going smoothly until mission controllers lost contact in April as the robotic craft made its way down. Beyond all the technology that was lost in the crash, Beresheet had an unusual cargo: a few thousand tiny tardigrades, the toughest animals on Earth.
Now, the organisation behind the tardigrades’ trip, the US-based Arch Mission Foundation – whose goal is to find a backup for Earth – has said the organisms may well have shrugged off the collision. “Our payload may be the only surviving thing from that mission,” Nova Spivack, the organisation’s founder, told Wired magazine.
Tardigrades have fascinated scientists since their discovery in the 18th century by the German zoologist and pastor Johann August Ephraim Goeze. The millimetre-long animals, sometimes known as water bears or moss piglets after their favoured environment and food, resemble cheerful eight-legged maggots wearing distinctly sphincter-like faces.
That's where the huge glowing Tardigrade came from in Star Trek Discovery - mutated from the surface of Luna and engaged with the spore network. Now that I have solved that problem, I can tell you science has proven the #42 is the meaning - https://gizmodo.com/the-answer-to-life-the-universe-and-everything-final-1837941162?IR=TI like Tardigrades even more now.