These bacteria would easily survive on another planet. Deinococcus Radiodurans (D.rad) has was recently put to the test by NASA in controlled laboratory experiments. It was subjected to extreme temperature, very high levels of radiation, exposure to genotoxic chemicals, acid, a vacuum, and dehydration and, amazingly, it survived. Incredibly, these bacteria even have the ability to repair their own DNA within 48 hours.

Known as an extremophile, bacteria, the most radioresistant organisms known, such a D.rad are naturally of particular interest to NASA, partly because they might be adaptable to help human astronauts survive on foreign worlds. D.rad is likely one of the oldest surviving life forms on Earth and was discovered purely by accident in 1956 when Arthur W. Anderson at the Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station in Corvallis, Oregon, was performing experiments to determine the possibilities of sterilising canned food with high doses of gamma radiation. A specific tin of meat was exposed to this radiation burst, known to kill all forms of life, but the meat still spoiled and D.rad was later isolated. Because of its excessive inability to die it has become known as a polyextremophile and is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records under “pure awesomeness.” It has been subsequently nicknamed Conan the Bacterium,

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