MOSCOW, November 19. /TASS/. A series of experiments conducted by Russian scientists, who monitored the return of the Photon-M No. 4 satellite from the orbit, have confirmed a hypothesis that life might have possibly been brought to Earth by meteorites.
Alexander Slobodkin, a researcher at the Institute of Microbiology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told the 15th Сonference on Space Biology and Aerospace Medicine in Moscow that they managed to see thermophilic bacteria, planted in cells of ring-shaped containers in basalt on the surface of the space apparatus, survive after the space apparatus had gone through thick layers of the atmosphere.
After the return of the space apparatus the living bacteria were found in three out of 24 cells, Slobodkin said. Only one of the bacteria species used in the experiment has survived under conditions of a space flight and subsequent return to the planet, he said. Establishing the exact number of the surviving microorganisms proved impossible, Slobodkin said, adding they were scarce, not numbered in hundreds.
Nonetheless, after the bacteria were placed in a nourishing environment a bacteria reproduction process began, Slobodkin told the conference.