Sunday, March 1, 2009

In Which A Tardigrade Is Not So Tardy

We learn today of a panarthopod
Who will stray far indeed from its home moss
When Russia sends it spacewards with a squad
Of other creatures, all the way across
To one of the twin moons of far Barsoom.
I will confess that ere this Sunday came
I'd never heard of tardigrades. I fume
A bit to learn that one could claim
To be the first on Phobos. I confess:
I'm on the fence about this. On one hand
A test to see how life forms stand this stress
Is vital to our long-term future, planned
To outlive our wee sun. Still, though, I doubt
A water bear ambassador has clout.


  1. full circle from mars
    come them little b'ars

    them sweet li'l lobsters
    survive hits like mobsters

    from light ultraviolet
    and rays like a bullet

  2. Kitehorse! Very cute!!! Thank you!

  3. Thanks for this wonderful poem and current news! I had no idea and share your on-the-fence notions...

  4. I'm pretty excited about everything to do with space exploration, but wonder about contamination, etc. Water bears are extremophiles as it is. What if they evolve into SUPER WATER BEARS and are waiting for us if we ever return to Phobos? What if they're the ancestors, say, of those horrible worms in Alastair Reynolds early Conjoiner stories? Heh.

  5. Interesting post, to be sure. I didn't know tardigrades. I did hear that China crashed a satellite on the moon. Good circle connotations in this delightful poem...


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