- from Microbes
In 1967, about 100 microbes took a ride inside a TV camera on a Moon probe.
They made it through the fiery launch. They survived the vacuum of outer space. And they lived through radiation and freezing cold. They had no food, water, or energy source!
When astronauts brought the camera back to Earth, startled scientists found the microbes. They 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 and nuclear reactors. They looked in a lot of other harsh spots. What did they find? A class of extremists in the microbial world, which they nicknamed extremophiles. Extremophiles are known by the scientific name of archaea.