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What Happens to Bacteria in Space?

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In the otherwise barren space 220 miles above Earth's surface, a capsule of life-sustaining oxygen and water orbits at 17,000 miles per hour. You might know this capsule as the International Space Station (ISS), currently home to six humans—and untold billions of bacteria. Microbes have always followed us to the frontiers, but it's only now that scientists at NASA and elsewhere are seriously investigating what happens when we bring Earth's microbes into space.

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