Hardy li'l critters will be first tested in open space

BoingBoing reader Bob says,

The world's toughest animal (see Boing Boing post from last year) has been sent into space. Tardigrades (aka Water Bears) can survive incredibly harsh conditions, including freezing to near absolute zero, extreme vacuum and radiation. Exposed to open space on the Russian FOTON M3 satellite, tardigrades are the first animals tested and perhaps the best candidate on earth for surviving space travel.

Link, Researchers' blog. Image: courtesy Willow Gabriel and Bob Goldstein.