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Chinese Send Microbes into Space To Test the Question of Extraterrestrial Life

Chinese researchers are developing an interesting way of determining whether extraterrestrial life is possible. They will be sending anaerobic archaea (microbes) to the Chinese Space Station aboard the Tianzhou-7 cargo spacecraft. These archaea are among the oldest life forms on Earth and are a major contributor to methane in the Earth’s atmosphere. They can live with only hydrogen and carbon dioxide, and then they turn into methane. Taking them into space and exposing them to cosmic radiation and to the microgravity environment will tell researchers whether they can survive in that environment.

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