Israel colonizes the Moon

Not satisfied with taking over the West Bank, Israel, in a clever plot probably orchestrated by Mossad, has sent Jewish animals, tardigrades, to the Moon. (Mossad has a well known history of using animals as spies or attack surrogates.) Since tardigrades can survive complete desiccation and low temperatures, their deposition on the Moon is a probable attempt to establish an Israeli foothold on another planet. After all, a Swedish scientist has shown that tardigrades are the only animal known to be able to survive in space for a minimum of ten days.

Well, the speculations above are clearly sarcastic, but, according to C|Net and other sources, a malfunctioning Israeli spacecraft has indeed, though accidentally, deposited tardigrades (“water bears”) on the lunar surface (click on screenshot, and for more see this article in Wired):

From the article:

Back in April, an Israeli spacecraft called Beresheet, which carried thousands of dehydrated tardigrades (among other cargo), crashed on the moon. Some people wondered if the water bears could survive.

One of those people was Arch Mission Foundation founder Nova Spivack. Arch Mission Foundation is a nonprofit whose main goal is to create a “backup of planet Earth.”

Well there you go! Just substitute “Israel” for “planet Earth” and you have it.  But wait! There’s more! They put human DNA up there, too, surely from Israelis:

The Israeli spacecraft was transporting Arch Mission’s first lunar library, a digital archive holding the equivalent of 30 million pages of information. It also carried human DNA samples and thousands of dehydrated tardigrades. It’s unknown how much of the cargo actually ended up on the moon’s surface following the crash.

Based on Arch Mission’s analysis of the spacecraft’s path as well as the makeup of the lunar library itself, Spivack told Wired on Monday that he’s confident the library, a “DVD-sized object made of thin sheets of nickel,” survived the crash mostly intact.

That doesn’t mean the DNA or water bears are in good shape.

“We sent enough DNA to regenerate life on Earth, if necessary,” Spivack tweeted Tuesday. “Although it would require more advanced biotech than we have to do that. At least our DNA is offsite now. But note that cells and DNA cannot survive or reproduce on the moon. Yet if retrieved they could be useful.”

“Useful” indeed—to create an apartheid planet! But wait—there’s still more:

“About the tardigrades in the Lunar Library: Some are sealed in epoxy with 100 million human, plant and microorganism cells,” Spivack tweeted Tuesday. “Some are encapsulated onto the sticky side of a 1cm square piece of Kapton tape that is sealed inside the disc stack. They cannot reproduce on the moon.”

Even though the dehydrated tardigrades can’t spring to life on the moon, they could theoretically be gathered, revived and studied to teach us about their time there.

“It is not likely that cells can survive on the moon without a lot more protection from radiation,” Spivack added. “However the human cells, plant cells and micro organisms we sent could be recovered, studied and their DNA extracted — perhaps to be cloned and regenerated, far in the future.”

Arch Mission Foundation, Nova Spivack and SpaceIL didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

That’s because these firms are probable covers for Mossad.

Seriously, the quotes and story are real; there are tardigrades and human DNA on the Moon. But I don’t think there was a good reason to contaminate the planet that way, even if there’s no chance of these things becoming alive. We don’t want to go mucking about with the Moon by filling it with organisms and nucleic acids.

Here’s a video showing how tough these critters are:

35 Comments

  1. DrBrydon
    Posted August 6, 2019 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Tardigrades feature prominently in Season 1 of Star Trek: Discovery, which my wife and I have only just started watching. They are indeed tough, as the Klingons learned.

  2. Posted August 6, 2019 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    We really need an international treaty agreeing what we can put in space. This would cover the tardigrades on the moon, but also things like:

    * Bright advertising placed in low-earth orbit.

    * Ditto but for “artistic” purposes.

    * SpaceX’s massive constellations of bright satellites.

    * Nations smashing satellites to smithereens to demonstrate their weapon potential, producing oodles of space junk.

    • Mark R.
      Posted August 6, 2019 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

      The division of SpaceX that is launching low orbit satellites has the mission of providing high-speed internet access to anyone, anywhere. They already have the permits and go-ahead by the government. There will soon be thousands of their satellites orbiting. It will be interesting to see how this new technology develops. I don’t know if any other countries had a say-so in SpaceX’s satellite endeavor.

      • Pierluigi Ballabeni
        Posted August 7, 2019 at 2:12 am | Permalink

        The SpaceX satellites are not going to cover only the USA but the whole world. An international agreement is needed; the US govenment does not have the right to decide for the rest of the world (at least theoretically because in fact it has the power to impose its will to the rest of the world).

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted August 7, 2019 at 9:40 am | Permalink

          I wonder what would happen if a large country decided it didn’t like unauthorised satellites overflying it and decided to ‘shoot down’ any of Spacex’s satellites that overflew its airspace.

          I’d say if Spacex puts them up there without agreement somebody else could shoot them down without any legal comebacks.

          cr

        • Torbjörn Larsson
          Posted August 7, 2019 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

          It’s allowed by the US government, but the commercial service will be sold globally. I.e. it is “our” satellites, we will buy the services.

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted August 7, 2019 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

      * I think the radio bands that the communication satellites use has international regulation.

      * The “massive” constellations are not dense seen over the orbital volume (one satellite/5,000,000 km^3 or so).

      *SpaceX satellites are not “bright”. I don’t think you can see one with the naked eye except at the horizon? The initial launch visibility at low altitude and non-oriented to catch solar radiation is long gone. C.f. how artists launch bright satellites that are supposed to be seen (as you mention), or how China looks into launching reflectors to illuminate cities at night.

  3. GBJames
    Posted August 6, 2019 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    “We sent enough DNA to regenerate life on Earth, if necessary.”

    I can’t easily imagine a more bizarre statement.

    • Posted August 6, 2019 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

      Yes. Who, I wonder, will do the regeneration? Clearly not humans because we have an ample supply of our own. And I am not sure that non-humans will be anxious to help us out.

      • JoshP
        Posted August 7, 2019 at 5:30 am | Permalink

        And anyway, what will be needed is the information, not the chemicals so sending a digital file is better.

  4. Jenny Haniver
    Posted August 6, 2019 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    I see the makings of a 1st rate horror movie in the cheesiest 1950s style.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted August 6, 2019 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

      Ed Wood to direct?

      • Jenny Haniver
        Posted August 6, 2019 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

        But of course.

        BTW, I gave a tardy response to your explanation of the supposed mixed metaphor in the post about Tyson. I do not find a mixed metaphor but I could just be dense in this regard. I agree with Carl, that it’s “more like serial metaphors” but I think I’d call it a complex metaphor that involves several parts, as I explain in my response.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted August 6, 2019 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

          Yeah, I think you and Carl are right about it being an instance of serial, rather than mixed, metaphors.

          But I try to stick to a strict one-metaphor-per-sentence diet — though, every so often, you just gotta say WTF: does a body good to binge. 🙂

  5. Eric Grobler
    Posted August 6, 2019 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    ” But I don’t think there was a good reason to contaminate the planet that way”

    You mean “satellite”?

    Thanks for the interesting and fun post!

  6. DW
    Posted August 6, 2019 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Actually, Israel went to the moon to launch an assault on the secret Nazi base hiding on the dark side. Mossad agents riding on the backs of giant moon tardigrades are even now advancing on the Nazi facility in order to finally kill Mecha-Hitler.

    • BJ
      Posted August 6, 2019 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      Oh man you just brought the movie from Jenny Haniver’s comment to life and I so want to see it.

      This could also be a Wolfenstein game!

  7. Posted August 6, 2019 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    The Apollo astronauts left their poop on the moon, so it is already contaminated with human DNA.

    • Pierluigi Ballabeni
      Posted August 7, 2019 at 2:32 am | Permalink

      Did they? Did they empty the LEM toilets on the moon? If it is the case then it would be probaly more bacterial than human DNA (an important part of a poop’s mass is made by gut bacteria).

      • Posted August 7, 2019 at 11:01 am | Permalink

        Ninety-six bags of excrement, urine, vomit and food waste was left on the moon by the astronauts. Of course most of the material was solid waste matter and lots of microbes but it also contains the DNA of the pooper, as any detective can tell you.

  8. Steve Gerrard
    Posted August 6, 2019 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    So there is beresheet on the moon?
    I’ll show myself out…

    • BJ
      Posted August 6, 2019 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

      If a beresheets on the moon, does anyone smell it?

      I’ll show myself out too.

  9. Michael Waterhouse
    Posted August 6, 2019 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    The giant Blue Tardigrades in Startreck Discovery (which may or may not be plagiarised from an uncannily similar unreleased point and click adventure game) had to start somewhere.
    Now it all makes sense.
    Radiation plus small unusual creature equals giant mutant (space) monster.
    Always has,
    Always will.

    • Wunold
      Posted August 7, 2019 at 12:08 am | Permalink

      The nerd in me is all in for creating giant mutant space monsters. 🙂

      • Dominic
        Posted August 7, 2019 at 5:56 am | Permalink

        We will have to get you a laboratory & some side-kick!

        • Wunold
          Posted August 7, 2019 at 6:17 am | Permalink

          (chuckles madly)

  10. John Ottaway
    Posted August 7, 2019 at 3:10 am | Permalink

    “Well, the speculations above are clearly sarcastic”… or are they?

  11. Dominic
    Posted August 7, 2019 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    On Twitter Matthew pointed out that cosmic rays are likely to kill them…

  12. Gabrielle
    Posted August 7, 2019 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    ‘Beresheet’ is the first word of Genesis in the Bible, Hebrew for ‘In the beginning’. As in ‘In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.’

  13. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted August 7, 2019 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Trying to figure out just what the heck they were doing, and what the tardigrades were supposed to have done if they hadn’t pranged.

    “The lunar library on the Beresheet lander consisted of 25 layers of nickel, each only a few microns thick. The first four layers contain roughly 60,000 high-resolution images of book pages, which include language primers, textbooks, and keys to decoding the other 21 layers. Those layers hold nearly all of the English Wikipedia, thousands of classic books, and even the secrets to David Copperfield’s magic tricks.”

    I suppose we should be profoundly relieved it wasn’t Uri Geller 😉

    Okay, it seems to be a sort of time capsule thingy. A bit like Arthur Clarke foresaw in “History Lesson.”

    I’m still a bit puzzled about the tardigrades, though.

    cr

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted August 7, 2019 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      I guess the tardigrades were symbolic too. This is no different from earlier lofting of human ashes on satellites and missions across the solar system.

  14. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted August 7, 2019 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    eriously, the quotes and story are real; there are tardigrades and human DNA on the Moon. But I don’t think there was a good reason to contaminate the planet that way, even if there’s no chance of these things becoming alive. We don’t want to go mucking about with the Moon by filling it with organisms and nucleic acids.

    As noted before me, some 100 bags of feces and other human/prokaryote material has been deposited by Apollo missions.

    And let’s not forget that hypervelocity impactors like Chixculub has lofted Earth crust material – including life – into the system for 4 billion years. Estimates has it that potentially habitable ice moons out to Saturn has seen at least one contaminated rock impact each.

  15. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted August 7, 2019 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Here is the latest survival guide to space: https://www.sciencealert.com/a-bunch-of-earth-organisms-were-stuck-outside-the-iss-and-survived .

    “Terrestrial organisms stuck on the outside of the International Space Station (ISS) have survived 533 days in the vacuum, intense ultraviolet radiation, and extreme temperature variations of space.”

  16. Posted August 7, 2019 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    Does anyone know what the background music was for the video? Usually is mentioned in the credits, but I did not see it.


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