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Can Life Survive Out In Space?

A resilient organism striving among our astronauts


What's going on?

Space is an incredibly harsh environment. Generally, no life can survive in outer space, including humans, which is why incredible amounts of money are spent on space suits so astronauts can do spacewalks. Scientifically, a human’s body is not made for surviving in space, and that includes every single organism on Earth. However, to everyone’s surprise, scientists have discovered strains of bacteria on the surface of the International Space Station, which is thriving in the ruthless conditions.


This discovery by NASA is impressive, more so, considering the temperature extremes on its surface. In outer space, the temperature ranges from 121 Celsius on the day side to -157 Celsius on the night side. These figures are extreme in comparison to the extremes found on Earth, which vary from 57 Celsius as the highest temperature to the lowest temperature of -89 Celsius. Upon investigations, it was proven that these bacteria originated from Earth and have remarkable mutations, as they can survive the UV radiation from the sun and the lack of oxygen in space.


NASA has also further confirmed the existence of bacteria living inside the ISS, which is a concern as they share the environment with the astronauts. If there is a potential health hazard, the medical facilities are limited as compared to on Earth. Hence, NASA catalogues a list of all the bacteria present on the station for safety precautions. While the current bacteria do not pose any threat to the astronauts, NASA is keeping tabs on space bacteria to preserve the health of astronauts and ensure the safety of the future of space missions.