Scientists blast rocks to study space bacteria The Albuquerque Tribune

New Mexico Tech wants to see what happens when bacteria fly. Scientists at the university are testing bacteria-filled rocks to see if the organisms can survive the extreme pressures and temperatures involved in a meteor impact on another planet that might send them to Earth. If the bacteria prove hardy, it might mean that life could be widespread across the universe. “People kind of thought of this as crazy science fiction in the past, until we found this meteorite from Mars and discovered evidence of life in it in the 1990s,” said Eileen Ryan, a research scientist at Tech’s Magdalena Ridge Observatory Project. “Studying these rocks has implications for how we view ourselves and our place in the universe. It’s an exciting idea that we’re not alone.”