Superflies bred to be the first astronauts on Titan

December 16, 2011
Drosophila titanus

The Quest for Drosophila titanus (credit: Andy Gracie)

Artist Andy Gracie is attempting to breed a strain of fruit fly that could survive on Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, New Scientist CultureLab reports.

The first stage of his work, “The Quest for Drosophila Titanus,” is part of an exhibition currently touring the UK.

The purpose? “In about three to four billion years, the Sun will expand so much that Earth will become uninhabitable, but perhaps then it might warm up Titan sufficiently to make it an environment in which extreme forms of life could survive.”

In Stephen Baxter’s Manifold: Time, a genetically engineered squid travels to space, and her descendants will colonize space (instead of humans). — Ed.