A question about bacterias traveling in\on asteroids.

  1. How long can a bacteria dwell? Can it dwell in space, or would the air be sucked out of it and the cell would be destroyed? Would it have to be incased in an airtight chamber inside an asteroid for it to travel in space? Thanks :bugeye:
  2. jcsd
  3. Borek

    Staff: Mentor

    Even some higher organisms are capable of surviving conditions on the orbit (Tardigrada), so there is no reason to not believe some bacteria could survive too. I would be surprised if they were not tested by NASA and if the results were impossible to google.
  4. Would it have to be contained inside an airtight capsule in the asteroid? Wouldn't the vacume in space suck the air out of the bacteria? Wouldn't it be hard to find the molecules needed for reproducing inside an airtight capsule inside a rock? Thanks
  5. What you're really asking is, would the cell wall of the bacteria withstand the difference between the internal pressure in the cell and the vacuum of space around it? I believe the answer is yes, depending on the species of bacteria and, probably, the external pressure in the environment it was in prior to being subjected to a vacuum. And once it got past the initial imposition of a vacuum, its continued survival would depend on whether its cell wall is capable of holding in the cell contents indefinitely, whether it can survive extreme cold, how much radiation damage it's subjected to, etc. Its internal processes would probably cease until warmth and external pressure were restored, and then only if the cell wall hadn't ruptured or leaked substantially.
  6. Additionally, some bacteria can make spores which are resistant to temperature extremes, radiation, nutrition deficiencies etc. From memory, spores are basically a, mostly dehydrated, core with some nucleic acids and proteins with several layers of membrane, cell wall and tough peptidoglycan membrane(s) helping to accomplish this resistance to extreme conditions. Googling will bring up some info.
  7. Ygggdrasil

    Ygggdrasil 1,825
    Science Advisor

  8. Yes. Aliens build those capsules all the time.
    But seriously, bacteria in asteroids don't have to be kept in some sort of a container. It is gravitationally attracted to the asteriod. I'm not sure what you want to know in this thread

  9. berkeman

    Staff: Mentor

    (Mentor note -- as you can tell by the italics font in the OP's username, he is no longer with the PF. Not for anything he was asking about in this thread here, BTW.)
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