June 26, 2024

Valley Post

Read Latest News on Sports, Business, Entertainment, Blogs and Opinions from leading columnists.

If there is life on the moon it came from our own accident

If there is life on the moon it came from our own accident

Five years ago, on February 22, 2019, SpaceIL's Beresheet spacecraft launched into lunar orbit with the aim of becoming the first private spacecraft to land on its surface. The landing did not take place as planned on April 11, and the spacecraft smashed into the surface at 500 kilometers per hour, scattering debris hundreds of meters away.

Beresheet was, among other things, carrying molluscs, life forms known for their ability to survive in the harshest environments. So what happened to them? Did the moon infect us with some kind of terrestrial life? Or worse, could they reproduce and colonize our natural satellite?

Molluscs are small, less than a millimeter long. Most of them live in aquatic environments, but they can be found all over the world. To live, they feed on microalgae, and in order to grow, move and reproduce, they need to be surrounded by water. They reproduce sexually and asexually through parthenogenesis, while some are hermaphrodites. Once hatched, they can live from 3 to 30 months. When survival conditions are difficult, they can shut down their metabolism, resulting in a loss of 95% of their body water. During dehydration, the body size decreases by half, the legs disappear, and only the claws remain visible.

To date, 1,265 species of sloths have been discovered, but not all of them can be brought back to life. Dehydrated adults can survive for a few minutes at temperatures ranging from -272 to 150°C, and can tolerate long-term gamma doses of 1,000 to 4,400 Gy. Note that a dose of 10 Gy is fatal to humans.

See also  After disrupting businesses, Google Drive's secret file cap is a thing of the past - Google

So what happened to the zombies in Beresheet? First of all, they may have survived the conflict. Laboratory tests have shown that it would take a 3,000 km/h impact to kill them.

Then we have cosmic radiation and solar radiation. Studies have shown that the moon's surface is constantly bombarded by gamma rays, but the dose is low. 10 years of exposure to gamma rays on the Moon is equivalent to a dose of 1 Gy.

The lack of water and temperatures are what make it more difficult for sloths. The lunar night lasts 15 Earth days and temperatures reach -190 degrees Celsius, while during the day it reaches 120 degrees. So they should have fallen into cryptobiosis within the first few days after the accident. Due to the lack of water and microalgae, they will not be able to reactivate, let alone reproduce. Thus, scientists believe that colonization of the moon by them is impossible.

However, even inactive, the presence of sloths on the moon raises ethical questions, such as whether polluting other planets might mean losing the chance to discover extraterrestrial life.