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We've learned that microbes, and specifically bacteria, can live almost everywhere - even in extreme environments. We are wondering, can microbes live in a vacuum? In outer space? In a black hole?
Question Date: 2003-11-17
Answer 1:

Bacteria have extraordinary capacities for survival in extreme environments. They can survive in a vacuum and in outer space. In 1967, some Streptococcus bacteria were accidentally transported to the moon on the camera of one of the Surveyor modules. Over two and a half years later, the camera was brought back to Earth by the Apollo 12 mission, and the stowaways were successfully cultured from insulation of the camera. Amazingly, the bacteria were able to survive the vacuum of space, radiation, and freezing temperatures for years before being returned to Earth. It does not appear that the bacteria could grow and spread on the moon, as other samples collected from the soil were devoid of life. Their hardiness is one of the reasons scientists speculate that bacteria-like organisms might exist on other planets and moons in our solar system, for example in martian ice caps or on Callisto ( a moon of Jupiter).

However, I doubt that even bacteria could survive a trip into a black hole. As objects approach black holes, the tidal forces due to gravity become very strong. Anything falling into a black hole becomes stretched and crushed. I expect that a tiny bacteria would eventually be sheared apart by the massive forces, but would get closer to the center of a black hole than humans would.

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