Astronauts have conducted experiments to determine which life forms can survive the vacuum of space.
A suitcase-sized experimental apparatus known as the Expose-E experiment was sent up to the International Space Station and contained an array of bacteria, seeds, lichen and other organic compounds. The samples were placed outside the space station for a period of time, exposing them to the full harshness of the sun's rays and a wide range of temperatures.
The results of the experiment suggest that lichen can survive almost anything, going in to a dormant state and springing back to life afterwards. Not only does this strengthen the possibility that life might have hitched a ride to the Earth on an asteroid or comet, but sunscreen manufacturers have taken a distinct interest in lichen on the basis that it can survive 18 months of direct sun exposure without any problems.
"You can freeze it, thaw it, vacuum dry it and expose it to radiation, but still life survives."
View: Full article | Source: Science Daily
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