In April 2019, thousands dehydrated tardigrades, human DNA and other cargo were sent to Moon. The pod crashed and the project developers believe that these tiny organisms were the only ones to survive the mission.
Tardigrades are also known as "water bears" and are microscopic creatures that can adapt to almost any environment. After 30 years of deep freeze, scientists were able to bring back tardigrades to life. Extremophiles, tardigrades can survive in extreme environments for long periods of time and shut down their metabolism. Tardigrades can withstand pressure equivalent to an asteroid hitting Earth. This means that an emergency landing like that on the Moon is no problem for them. These creatures can theoretically live on the Moon for many decades. Fascinating, isn-t it?
Here are some extreme facts about the most resilient creatures on Earth.
1. Johann August Goetze, a German pastor, first discovered Tardigrades in 1773. It was given the Latin name Tardigrada by Lazzaro Spallanzani, an Italian biologist. This means "walking slowly".
2. More than 1150 species have been identified since 1778.
3. Tardigrade babies are born with a full set of adult cells. They do not grow by cell division. Their cells simply increase in size.