Panspermia is the theory certain microorganisms could survive the lifeless space between planets. The microorganisms could have been flung from a far away planet after an asteroid hit said celestial body.
Fragments of rock from the destroyed planet and asteroid could then be ejected into deep space, and over the course of billions of years, these fragments dotted with microbes litter other planets, thus seeding life elsewhere in the universe.
This theory would suggest life in the universe stemmed from a single “genesis” – the seemingly miraculous point where life emerges.
Now, a study has revealed that certain bacteria can survive the lifeless void of space, where radiation is high and temperatures are low.
The study could provide the answers as to where life on Earth emerged from.
To prove the theory, Professor Akihiko Yamagishi of the University of Tokyo placed radioresistant Deinococcus bacteria on panels outside of the International Space Station (ISS).
He and his team found if the bacteria is formed in thick layers, the top ones die off but then can act as a source of protection for the bottom layers for several years.
The three-year study saw layers above 0.5 millimetres able to survive in space for several years.
Professor Yamagishi said: “The results suggest that radioresistant Deinococcus could survive during the travel from Earth to Mars and vice versa, which is several months or years in the shortest orbit.”