Itty Bitty Critter Committee to join human astronauts on Shuttle Endeavour

Discuss

30 Responses to “Itty Bitty Critter Committee to join human astronauts on Shuttle Endeavour”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Is that the mouth or an armor clad anus?

  2. gwailo_joe says:

    yeah, the ‘mouth’ is too small

    If it was Hollywood or Anime: cut off two rings back and add a hole with Sarlac Fangs spinning at 1K+RPMs: then you might have something to fear

    (also make them the size of tanker trucks)

  3. Infinitude Tortoises says:

    Seeing that lovely image at the top makes me almost as happy as a wet tardigrade!

  4. Cowicide says:

    I hope we don’t kill any Space Bears in the process. I wouldn’t be surprised if they had larger cousins floating around in space the size of Jupiter. I really don’t want planet Earth swallowed up by giant Space Bears in an act of space vengeance.

  5. gths says:

    I for one welcome my new Tardigrade overlords.

  6. imhotep says:

    Pyrococcus furiosus are BADASS! They are extremophiles (from Latin extremus meaning “extreme” and Greek philiā meaning “love”).
    Their name means Rushing Fireberry, so do not let them anywhere near your testes satchel!

  7. pinehead says:

    Tardigrades are god’s gift to those of us nerdy enough to know what water bears are. If they came in hamster size, I’d own a hundred of them. I have no doubt whatsoever that the water bears will do just fine in any experiment the astronauts put them through. I’m not so sure about the other lifeforms, but then again, I don’t care.

    I do wonder if there are any tardigrade otherkin among us…

  8. Anonymous says:

    Look out Space Station!

  9. planettom says:

    And this is really just the test flight. The real mission comes this Fall, when a canister of these microscopic organisms will be going to Phobos, moon of Mars (and, hopefully, back to Earth after it gets samples) aboard the Russian Phobos-Grunt mission: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phobos-Grunt

  10. lewis stoole says:

    also from wiki:
    “September 2007, tardigrades were taken into low Earth orbit on the FOTON-M3 mission and for 10 days were exposed to the vacuum of space. After they were returned to Earth, it was discovered that many of them survived and laid eggs that hatched normally.[8]”

  11. voiceinthedistance says:

    Cute as a button. Make great pets, too!

  12. Mujokan says:

    Tardigrades! So kewl! I think that one should be called “Mr. Bubbles”.

  13. NuOrder72 says:

    Whenever I look at that picture, I want to take a pair of the worlds smallest tweezers and squeeze the life out of it…I can’t help it, most bugs (except for spiders) creep me out.

  14. phosphorious says:

    If NASA is comfortable with the risk of Tardigardes coming back super-intelligent and radioactive, Ok I guess. But that’s not the path I would have chosen.

  15. irksome says:

    Ah, that takes me back to my youth; thousands of Tardigardes as far as the eye could see, thundering across the Plains. Pity we’ve hunted them to near extinction.

  16. Muse says:

    Water Bears are delightful. Since they are just about indestructible, they would make the perfect first pets for kids if they were scaled up a bit. I guess we will have to settle for this instead.

    • Anonymous says:

      They’re not nearly indestructible. Something people rarely seem to grasp about creatures like these and Deinococcus: the reason they’re not everywhere is because they’re vulnerable to other life, and get eaten or out-competed all the time. They’re just resilient to the stuff we’re not to.

      • Midden says:

        “Something people rarely seem to grasp about creatures like these and Deinococcus: the reason they’re not everywhere is because they’re vulnerable to other life, and get eaten or out-competed all the time.”

        I don’t know about Deinococcus, but as I understand it, tardigrades ARE almost everywhere. Everywhere water, even if only in thin films, is available; from Pole to Pole, from the highest mountains to the depths of the oceans, deserts to tropical rain forests.

        • Anonymous says:

          Ok, they’re everywhere, but my point was not in terribly high numbers. If you check with a microscope, finding a tardigrade is a treat.

          • karl_jones says:

            … finding a tardigrade is a treat.

            Speaking of which, are Water Bears good to eat? Like tiny lobsters?

            If you can gather enough of them to constitute a morsel, of course.

    • jere7my says:

      they would make the perfect first pets for kids if they were scaled up a bit

      Spoken like someone who hasn’t seen one with its jaws everted.

      On the other hand, they’re also called “moss piglets”. Moss piglets!

  17. desiredusername says:

    Nice reference to IBTC.

  18. heliopolister says:

    The reason it’s acting so unusually docile is that it had its fangs unceremoniously ripped out by unscrupulous poachers who sell these poor creatures as toys to Westerners.

  19. Robbo says:

    Mummenshanz In Spaaaaaace!!!!

  20. The Jones Ultimatum says:

    What perfect smoothness does the water bear in the photo stand upon?

    See how it distorts the fabric it stands upon,with its mass.

    Incredible critters,but FFS do not release them into ZeroG.
    They will become intergalactic planet eaters.

    More powerful than you could possibly imagine.:)

  21. MarkM says:

    “Tardigrades… Why did it have to be tardigrades…?”

  22. Kiavahr says:

    It’s sad that the only waterbear plushies I can find have cutesy googly-eyes. I want one with the anatomically correct horrormaw.

  23. glamaFez says:

    Today Tardigrades, tomorrow Max Rebo.

Leave a Reply