The tardigrade, also known as a water bear (or a moss-piglet), can be found in extreme environments across the world, from the extreme depths of the ocean to frozen Arctic tundra…and even in space! Aerospace is embarking on a mission to study tardigrades, as learning more about these fascinating creatures will help us advance human survivability technology in space environments.
Andrea Hsu studies tardigrades in her lab at Aerospace. Here, Andrea puts these extremophiles through various environmental changes in order to understand how they are so resilient.
Downloadable Teaching Materials
In this lesson plan, students will become familiar with extremophiles and the small but mighty tardigrade. By taking on the role of an astrobiologist, students will use the experimental science process to investigate the effect of temperature, hydration, or space vacuum on tardigrade survival. They will draw their own conclusions on tardigrade space resiliency and model ways to advance human space exploration.