Superflies for Titan bred with Vodka Rain is a piece of Art

Andy Gracie zeigt grade in der Ausstellung Republic of the Moon in Liverpool die erste Stufe seiner Arbeit „The Quest for Drosphilia titanus“, in der er Fluchtfliegen für ein Überleben auf dem Titan züchtet, dem größten Mond des Saturns und (neben dem Jupiter-Mond Europa) der beste Kandidat für außerirdisches Leben in unserem Sonnensystem. Dazu hat er einen Tank gebaut, in dem er die Bedingungen auf dem Mond simuliert, den Druck auf 1,5 Bar erhöht, das Ding stufenweise abgekühlt und die Viecher mit simuliertem Methan-Regen aus Vodka nass gemacht hat. Mit den überlebenden Viechern züchtet er neue Generationen seiner Superfliege for outer Space.

New Scientist hat ein Interview:

What can people see if they visit Dropsophila titanus?
Currently, the installation consists of a homemade Titan simulation chamber, some video of the flies being exposed to different conditions in the chamber, a lab manual I made during the experimental process and some dead first generation specimens that you can look at under the microscope. These are the prototype Drosophila titanus. It is the proof of concept for a work I will be developing next year.

How did you recreate the conditions on Titan?
The air pressure on Titan is fifty percent higher than on Earth so I used a bicycle pump and pressure gauge to increase the pressure in the chamber to 1.5bar. That was probably the most authentic recreation of the conditions. Titan is a frosty -190 degrees but it would have been pointless exposing flies to that temperature as they would all die. Instead the idea is to use freezer elements to take down the temperature a few degrees at a time and try to selectively breed for resistance to low temperatures. The radioactive element from a smoke alarm simulated the radiation found on the moon and a series of UV LEDs represented the harsh UV rays that rain down.

There were a couple of constants - Titan has a deep orange sky so I used orange LEDs to recreate the spectral qualities. Low frequency radiowaves also seem to emanate from Titan, so I used audio from Jupiter and Saturn radio emissions to represent this. […] the rain on Titan is liquid methane but it is really hard to use liquid methane in a homemade lab environment so I used its chemical cousin, vodka, instead.

Superflies bred to be the first astronauts on Titan, mehr zur Ausstellung hier: Republic of the Moon, hier die Website von Gracie