Explained: What is Tardigrade, the water bear?

  1. Israeli spacecraft called Beresheet had crashed onto the Moon in April, 2019.The spacecraft was carrying a cargo of dehydrated microscopic lifeforms known as tardigrades.
  2. However,tardigrades may have survived a crash landing on the Moon and they may still be alive.
  3. Tardigrade are also known as water bear.They can only be seen under a microscope.
  4. They derives its name from the fact that they look like an eight-legged bear with a mouth that can project out like a tongue.
  5. Tardigrades are among the most resilient animals which can survive extreme conditions such as exposure to outer space.Tardigrade feed on plant cells,algae and small invertebrates.
  6. Although the tardigrades on the spacecraft were dehydrated,they are  known to come back to life on rehydration.They can expel water from their bodies and set off a mechanism to protect their cells and can still be revived if placed in water. 
  7. However,there is no evidence of liquid water on the Moon,although there is ice.Hence,without liquid water,it is possible that the tardigrades will remain in their current state unless future astronauts find them and revive them in water.