• Question: Can bacteria live on the moon and due to the lack of oxygen. how deadly would they be?

    Asked by C.Kendall to Sally, Rob, Matt, Marikka on 18 Nov 2014.
    • Photo: Sally Cutler

      Sally Cutler answered on 18 Nov 2014:

      We don’t know of any, but never rule anything out. Maybe they do and we have not discovered this yet. Microbes are being discovered in all kinds of extreme environments.

    • Photo: Robert Hampson

      Robert Hampson answered on 19 Nov 2014:

      We have not yet discovered any extra-terrestrial bacteria or any other living creature not originating on our own planet (extra-terrestrial just means “away from [extra] earth [terra]”).

      There have been several space missions and samples from space which have tested positive for bacteria However, these were discovered to be contaminations originally introduced on Earth. The closest we have are some structures found on Mars which could be burrows made by bacteria many millenia ago or they may just be funny holes in a rock that happen to look like that.

      However, the presence of bacterial contaminations in space samples does at least show that the bacteria found on Earth can survive in space for a limited amount of time.