In the past few years, scientists have observed how bacteria behave in space and how they thrive in the oxygen-rich environment of the International Space Station (ISS). Recently, researchers discovered that a particular species could survive in space by forming a thick clump.
Some believe the Earth's origin of life came from space via asteroids nearly four billion years ago—this is also known as the panspermia hypothesis. Signs of life and water on other planets and cosmic bodies reinforce this theory. The 'seeds of life' may have been bacterial spores that allow bacteria to remain dormant when nutrients are not available.
Scientists have discovered Deinococcus radiodurans on an external panel of the ISS, which was revived after it had dried outside in space for more than three years. The species can survive extreme temperatures, radiation, UV light, and dehydration. The new study has been published in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology.
Professor Akihiko Yamagishi from Tokyo University and his team discovered that when bacteria aggregates, or forms into a thick mass, it can survive space journeys and harsh conditions. The team also thinks that Mars could have been possibly involved in the panspermia theory, which may be confirmed after the Mars missions.To read more, click here.