APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2023 May 21)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
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Rauf
Science Officer
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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2023 May 21)

Post by Rauf » Tue May 23, 2023 6:05 pm

Chris Peterson wrote: Tue May 23, 2023 12:50 pm
Rauf wrote: Tue May 23, 2023 8:01 am
Chris Peterson wrote: Mon May 22, 2023 4:20 pm

Mars is an incredibly hostile environment. Again, I can think of no lifeform that could survive there, at least no anywhere near the surface (which is where contamination would occur). Life on Earth is highly interconnected. It exists within a system. There is no organism on Earth that can survive without interacting with other species. What do you imagine a tardigrade on Mars would eat?
They won't possibly thrive on a planet with no food and no accessible water. But what if, they go in a state of hibernation, or parts of their body like DNA or certain proteins stays intact, on the long run, maybe some part of their body on some form on the planet. I'm just thinking that it might be too early for us to just send them on another planet, at least without direct human supervision. From what I've read about Tardigrades, they will wake up even after 40 years of total dryness, while if they have water nearby, the won't live no more than a couple months. I think that if we are to send them on other planets, it should be with extreme care.
Sure, they might hibernate for a few weeks or months. But that's about it. Heck, they aren't even considered extremophile life forms!
Fair point. Let's see if any space agency will try sending them somewhere, the data received on how they will react on different planets will answer many questions :)

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Chris Peterson
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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2023 May 21)

Post by Chris Peterson » Tue May 23, 2023 6:27 pm

Rauf wrote: Tue May 23, 2023 6:05 pm
Chris Peterson wrote: Tue May 23, 2023 12:50 pm
Rauf wrote: Tue May 23, 2023 8:01 am

They won't possibly thrive on a planet with no food and no accessible water. But what if, they go in a state of hibernation, or parts of their body like DNA or certain proteins stays intact, on the long run, maybe some part of their body on some form on the planet. I'm just thinking that it might be too early for us to just send them on another planet, at least without direct human supervision. From what I've read about Tardigrades, they will wake up even after 40 years of total dryness, while if they have water nearby, the won't live no more than a couple months. I think that if we are to send them on other planets, it should be with extreme care.
Sure, they might hibernate for a few weeks or months. But that's about it. Heck, they aren't even considered extremophile life forms!
Fair point. Let's see if any space agency will try sending them somewhere, the data received on how they will react on different planets will answer many questions :)
I really doubt that we'll (deliberately) send any lifeforms to other moons or planets to the extent we can avoid doing so. Not because anything is likely to be able to exist there, but because such things, even thoroughly dead, are very capable of contaminating samples used to search for some kind of native life.
Chris

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Chris L Peterson
Cloudbait Observatory
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