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NASA's new astronauts aren't humans, but 'water bears' and baby squids

NASA is planning on taking some new astronauts to the International Space Station this week, and it won't be humans this time.

@Jak_ConnorTT
Published Wed, Jun 2 2021 8:32 AM CDT   |   Updated Wed, Jun 30 2021 9:11 PM CDT

NASA is taking some unusual astronauts up to the International Space Station this week, and they aren't human.

NASA's new astronauts aren't humans, but 'water bears' and baby squids 01 | TweakTown.com
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NASA's next cargo mission to the International Space Station (ISS) will include more than 5,000 tardigrades, which are microscopic creatures that are commonly referred to as "water bears". Tardigrades are almost indestructible, so researchers are seeing what happens when they are living in zero gravity.

Thomas Boothby, an assistant professor of molecular biology at the University of Wyoming, who is leading the experiment, said, "Some of the things that tardigrades can survive include being dried out, being frozen, and being heated up past the boiling point of water." Adding, "They've been shown to survive and reproduce during spaceflight, and can even survive prolonged exposure to the vacuum of outer space."

The tardigrades will also have 128 baby bobtail squid going to the ISS with them. The squids are being sent there by the University of Florida who is conducting the experiment to see how microbes react with human tissue in space.

NASA's new astronauts aren't humans, but 'water bears' and baby squids 02 | TweakTown.com

Jaimie Foster, the lead on the microbe experiment, said, "Animals, including humans, rely on our microbes to maintain a healthy digestive and immune system. We do not fully understand how spaceflight alters these beneficial interactions."

For more information on this story, check out this link here.

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest news. Jak's love for technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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