Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

'Water Bears' Survive Unprotected In Space

Tiny tardigrades, also called water bears are the first animals known to survive the pitiless rigors of space, including hard vacuum, cosmic rays, freezing cold and solar UV rays 1,000 times as strong as those experienced on Earth's surface.


(Tardigrades - water bears - survive rigors of space)

These microscopic animals - just 1.5 millimeters in size when full-grown - are found in lichens or moss, in soil, on mountaintops and in ocean floor sediment at depths of 13,000 feet.

"They have claws and eyes. They are real animals. And this is the first time such an animal was tested in space," said Petra Rettberg, an Institute of Aerospace Medicine microbiologist, who helped design a tardigrade containment system attached to the Foton-M3 satellite, launched last September by a consortium of national space agencies.

When no water is available, water bears enter an anhydrobiotic state, slowing their metabolism by a factor of 10,000. Two species of tardigrades Richtersius coronifer and Milnesium tardigradum - were used in the experiment. Once in orbit, the tardigrade box on the side of the space capsule popped open, exposing the water bears to the rigors of space, unprotected by tiny space suits.

After ten days of exposure, the creatures were returned to earth, where results were gathered.

"We found that both species of tardigrades survived exposure to space vacuum alone very well, with no significant difference in survival pattern compared to ground controls," says astrobiologist Rettberg. "Samples exposed to the combined effect of vacuum and solar radiation had significantly reduced survival."

Fans of the sf series Farscape may recall the Luxans, a species able to survive unprotected exposure to the vacuum and radiation of space for about fifteen minutes.


(Luxan)

Read more at Daily Mail and Scientific American; see also these details about Luxans. Thanks to Moira for another great scoop.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 9/12/2008)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Space Tech ")

First Ever Proof Of Water On Asteroids
'Yes, strangely enough there was still sufficient water beneath the surface of Vesta.' - Raymond Z. Gallun, 1951.

Gigantic Space Sunshade Would Fight Global Warming
'...the light of the sun had been polarized by two crossed fields so that no radiation could pass.' - Arthur C. Clarke, 1953.

Untethered Spacewalk's 50th Anniversary
'But that space walk of mine wasn't so very amazing.' - Dom Passante, 1939.

ESA Designs Huge Inflatable Moonbase
'It was like being inside a balloon; indeed, that was exactly where he was.' - Arthur C. Clarke, 1961.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Current News

Ulm Sleep Pods For The Homeless
'The lid lifted and she crawled inside...'

Prophetic Offers Lucid Dreaming Halo With Morpheus-1 AI
''Leads trail away from insertion points on her face and wrist... to a lucid dreamer...'

More Like A Tumblebug Than A Motorcycle
'It is about the size and shape of a kitchen stool, gyro-stabilized on a single wheel...'

Tesla Camera-Only Vision Predicted In 1930's SF
'By its means, the machine can see.'

First Ever Proof Of Water On Asteroids
'Yes, strangely enough there was still sufficient water beneath the surface of Vesta.'

Aptera Solar EV More Stylish Than Heinlein Steel Tortoise
'When confronted by hills, or rough terrain, it did not stop, but simply slowed until the task demanded equaled its steady power output.'

Gigantic Space Sunshade Would Fight Global Warming
'...the light of the sun had been polarized by two crossed fields so that no radiation could pass.'

Untethered Spacewalk's 50th Anniversary
'But that space walk of mine wasn't so very amazing.'

ESA Designs Huge Inflatable Moonbase
'It was like being inside a balloon; indeed, that was exactly where he was.'

AlphaGarden Robot Cares For Gardens Better Than Humans
'...a simple clock-set servok with pipe and hose arms.'

Let's Make Slaver Sunflowers! Engineering Plants To Reflect Light
'The mirror-blossom was a terrible weapon.'

TeslaBot Uber Driver (2024) And The Automatic Motorist (1911)
'Robots have worse problems than anybody'

DiffuseBot Uses Generative AI To Invent New Soft Robots
'It embodies several small-scale multiple stampers, apparently for dealing with sheet metal.'

Philips Smart Palm Recognition Smart Deadbolt
'A palm lock must be keyed to one individual's hand shape...'

BMind Smart Mirror from Baracoda
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who has the greatest wellness of all?

Ballie Your AI Robot Companion From Samsung
Projects your content anywhere you like.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.