Crashed Israeli lunar lander could have spilled 'water bears' on moon

Tardigrades – commonly called "water bears" – were among the payload of an Israeli lunar lander that crashed into the moon in April.

  • An Israeli spacecraft carrying tiny animals called tardigrades crashed onto the moon in April.
  • It's unclear whether humans would be able to revive the tardigrades, which were in a dehydrated state.
  • Tardigrades have a unique protein that enables them to survive intense levels of radiation.
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TESS satellite identifies nearby, potentially habitable super-Earth

We may find signs of life a mere 31 light-years away.

NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech/Tim Pyle
  • The TESS satellite recently identified a nearby super-Earth sitting in the habitable zone of its star.
  • TESS isn't equipped to make the sensitive measurements necessary to characterize the planet's atmosphere, but models suggest the planet could have running water, a major indicator that it can host life.
  • The upcoming James Webb Space Telescope will be able to look at this planet in greater detail and assess whether life exists on it or not.
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5 reasons future space travel should explore asteroids

While the world considers future trips to Mars, two astrophysicists make a case for exploring asteroids.

NASA/JPL-Caltech

On the same day that the Earth survived an expected near-miss with asteroid 367943 Duende, Russian dashcams unexpectedly captured footage of a different asteroid as it slammed into the atmosphere, exploded, and injured more than 1,000 people.

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Octopus arms can make decisions on their own

The remarkable distributed nervous system of the octopus is discussed at an astrobiology conference.

Image source: Kondratuk Aleksei/Shutterstock
  • Unlike vertebrates, two-thirds of an octopus' neurons are in its tentacles.
  • Tentacles respond to the surrounding environment without help from the head's brain.
  • If something this weird is here on our own Earth, what could be out there in space?
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How to detect life on Mars

If life exists on Mars, there's a good chance it's related to us, say researchers.

NASA/JPL/USGS

When MIT research scientist Christopher Carr visited a green sand beach in Hawaii at the age of 9, he probably didn't think that he'd use the little olivine crystals beneath his feet to one day search for extraterrestrial life.

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