In Season 1, Episode 5, "Choose your pain" we see the tardigrade enter survival mode by expelling almost all the water from its body.

Later, we see the it ejected from the USS Discovery into space, where it rehydrates its body and using its relationship with the spores, disappears.

This leads to two questions:

How does the tardigrade rehydrate itself in a vacuum?

What prevented it from using its internal spore drive to escape from the USS Glenn or the USS Discovery whenever it wished?


The water is space magic. Seriously, just roll with it, there won't be a logical explanation.

As for how it was held on the Glenn and then the Discovery, force fields. Stamets figures out that a freak accident took down the Glenn during a jump, which presumably caused failure of the forcefield in the containment cell and allowed Ripper to escape where it could then tear through the physical structure of the ship.

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    As for why it didn't teleport away once the containment fields were gone, there was probably an excess of badwritingum particles, a rare form of radiation... okay, actually not all that rare in the time period of Discovery. Oct 20 '17 at 3:37
  • No, a reason is given there as well. It's stated that the Glenn didn't grow it's own spores but carried them as cargo (they initially found Ripper in the cargo bays). If they were running low on spores and/or the cargo was lost during the accident, then Ripper might simply not have had access to enough spores to jump, also explaining why it was so grumpy. Oct 21 '17 at 16:39

How does the tardigrade rehydrate itself in a vacuum?

In Space, There’s Water, Water Everywhere https://voices.nationalgeographic.org/2010/03/22/in_space_theres_water_water_ev/

What prevented it from using its internal spore drive to escape from the USS Glenn or the USS Discovery whenever it wished?

(Speculation here) Probably the containment field its in or that the spores could only servive in a specific environment for a given amount of time. or that possibly it needed open space to travel so as not to transit into a wall and go splat. this brings up the issue of how it made the sip jump and to that i say the Tardigrade was connected to the ships systems and the ship simply accessed the Tardigrades portion of the charts and processing power to assist the jumps.

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    Your linked article refers to deposits of water. The tardigrade has shed around 80% of its body mass, which we might estimate at around 400kg. Whilst I grant that there might be a few molecules floating about in each cubic metre of space, finding 400kg of water (or even 1kg) in the few seconds between release and disappearance isn't possible unless it has some mechanism for transporting it from further away.
    – Airsick
    Oct 20 '17 at 2:47
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    Unfortunately we do not know the full capabilities of the animal so as far as we entirely know it may very well have the ability to draw in any water around it or the spores in space may have very much assisted this. Oct 20 '17 at 5:33
  • @Airsick: It has been established that the spores are an interconnected grid across the universe, which is the core for allowing instantaneous travel to everywhere. It's not impossible for the same spore network to be able to teleport water into the tardigrade from essentially anywhere in the universe.
    – Flater
    Nov 3 '17 at 16:50

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