- from Microbes
In 1967, about 100 microbes hitched a ride inside a TV camera on a Moon probe.
They lived through the fiery launch. Then they survived the vacuum of outer space, radiation, and freezing temperatures. They had no food, water, or energy source!
When astronauts brought the camera back to Earth, scientists were surprised to find the microbes inside. They took a look and saw that the microbes were Streptococcus mitis. That’s a harmless bacterium found in the human nose, mouth, and throat.
The Strep bacteria got scientists looking for microbes in all kinds of places. They searched in geysers, nuclear reactors, and other harsh spots. They found a class of extremists in the microbial world, which they nicknamed extremophiles. Extremophiles are known by the scientific name of archaea.