Microscopic Magic

Surviving in Space

The Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) developed my NASA as well as the BIOPAN research program designed by the European Space Agency (ESA) has made experiments on how the space environment affects biological material. The space environment is extremely cold, has a high exposure to UV radiation and is devoid of matter creating a vacuum, yet experiments showed that bacteria could survive in space. This finding as well as the discovery of organic compound in meteorites provides a conflicting theory for the origin of life at hydrothermal vents as bacteria may have been delivered to Earth by meteorites or other solar system bodies (Rothschild & Mancinelli, 2001).

Retrieval of the Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) developed by NASA (NASA, 1990).

Retrieval of the Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) developed by NASA (NASA, 1990).

 

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