We often write on our website about the ambitious space missions of different countries. Not so long ago, for example, we reported on the launch of the space module “Bereshit” private Israeli company, Space IL. The device was sent to the moon and had to make a soft landing on the moon. If successful, Israel had become the fourth nation after the USSR, USA and China, which managed to land a spacecraft on the moon. Unfortunately, it did not happen. Engine the device refused when boarding, and when his work was restored, the module is not time to slow down.
Sent to the moon from Earth
Aboard the craft were a lot of interesting things. If you do not take into account photo and video equipment onboard the lander had two scientific instruments. One of them was the magnetometer. With its help it was planned to study the magnetic field of the satellite. In addition, “Genesis” was carrying a special laser reflectors. They were provided space by NASA and were used to calculate the distance to the moon.
The place of fall of the Israeli spacecraft “Genesis”
However, on Board the spacecraft was still one thing that could survive the fall. Together with “Bereshit” was sent a container size with a DVD. The container is sealed with several layers of special material that protects it from radiation exposure. It contained the so-called “lunar library“, developed by Arch Mission Foundation. It is a digital storage medium, no larger than a coin, consisting of 25 layers of Nickel with a thickness not more than 40 microns. This is less than half the thickness of a human hair.
The section of the lunar library. Thousands of pages have been digitized and deposited on the Nickel layers with a laser. To see that they are written only when using a microscope with 1000 × magnification
A copy of the first layer of the lunar library. It contains 1500 pages of information
The project authors explain that the first four layer carrier contain almost 60 000 digitized pages of classical, scientific, educational, books, photos, illustrations, and almost the entire English version of Wikipedia. 21 layer of this digital media contains more than 5,000 linguistic dictionaries, cryptographic keys for decrypting information, as well as millions of various articles of the scientific and educational orientation, which contain information about the history and culture of mankind.
Between each layer of Nickel is epoxy – synthetic equivalent of amber in which scientists find a variety of insects and other organisms that lived millions of years ago. This resin was placed DNA samples from 25 people and something else to do.
Who are the tardigrades?
Tihohodka under the microscope
It turns out that inside the container on the moon was sent to several thousand microscopic invertebrate creatures animalcules. Despite the size of 0.1—1.5 mm, tardigrades are among the most resilient organisms on Earth. Represented by 400 species. More than 120 of them live in Russia.
See also: Tardigrades can survive the fall of an asteroid and supernova explosion
Research and experiments on these creatures show that they are able to survive at extremely high (100 degrees Celsius) and low temperature (-271 Celsius). In experiments with radiation half the test animals were able to survive the radiation in 570 thousand x-rays. For comparison, the lethal dose for man is 500 roentgens. They are able to withstand a lot of pressure, regardless of the environment in which this pressure is exerted.
They are not afraid of cosmic radiation and the complete absence of oxygen in a vacuum environment. In addition, these organisms are capable of a very long time to go without water and food. While in extreme conditions they are able to slow down your metabolism to such an extent that contained in the body of these creatures kristallizuetsya proteins. In the end, tardigrades become like a dried-out mummy in a cocoon.
Tihohodka in normal (left) and dehydrated (right) state
In this half-dead state, they can exist for decades, and then placed in the environment to oxygen and water, again come to life. By the way, that in this state, tardigrades were placed in a container which went to the moon.
Living beings on the moon
The authors of the project say that, in theory, tardigrades could survive the fall to the moon. According to experts, the temperature generated upon impact of the apparatus on the surface of the satellite, was not sufficient to destroy the container. But even if it is destroyed, tardigrades are inside of the hardened resin, which can serve as a protective shell.
Theoretically, in future manned missions to the satellite container of animalcules will be found. And then, returning them to the environment with oxygen, to test whether they could survive.
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