The crash if SpaceIL’s Beresheet lunar lander made its payload to spill on the surface of the Moon. Therefore, now, among other debris that has been left on the Moon from the many missions, are a copy of the whole English-language Wikipedia, a fragment of India’s sacred Bodhi tree, and thousands of dehydrated tardigrades.
Four months ago, on April 11th, SpaceIL was supervising the last minutes of the landing procedure of its lunar lander Beresheet when an issue occurred, and the lander collapsed on the surface of the Moon. SpaceIL is an Israeli non-profit organization that had as an aim to land a spacecraft on the Moon.
While most of the things that littered the lunar surface are not okay to be left there, the scientists are more worried about the tardigrades and the implications these ‘water bears’ could have on the Moon’s surface.
Tardigrades on the Moon might not survive too long without water
The scientists at SpaceIL announced that there was a capsule on board of the lander that contained these microscopic ‘moss piglets’ in the cryptobiotic state. While they are not 100% sure, they believe the tardigrades might have survived the crash and will continue to survive the harsh conditions on the Moon.
Tardigrades are some fierce creatures. They can be found everywhere on Earth, from the top of the mountains to the bottom of the sea and even in space, now. They can enter a dormant state and survive like that for three decades, although they have a 2-year lifespan. To be revived, they have to be hydrated.
The microscopic animals can survive the conditions on the Moon, but they will not reproduce because there is no liquid water on the Moon to rehydrate them, but only ice. They could resume their tiny lives only if they are brought back to Earth.