So far, only lichens and bacteria have been able to withstand the combined assault of space and solar radiation, according to the report. Many tardigrades, the first animal ever to achieve this trip, did succumb to the experience. But remarkably, a number of individuals managed to live through a combination of space—which should dry-up and destroy DNA—and solar radiation, which should fry it. The researchers are not sure how exactly the water bears manage this survival, but the fact that they can opens up new avenues for research into the mechanisms that protect, and also repair their DNA. And the extremely exclusive club for space-proof life now includes an animal.