Asteroids Could Reseed a Devastated Earth

Rock-dwelling microorganisms would make it back from space
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted May 18, 2008 3:13 PM CDT
Mars in 2003.   (AP Photo/NASA, FILE)
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(Newser) – If a comet ever obliterates life on Earth, don't worry—space rocks could later fall in and reseed a few basic life forms. A new study shows that organisms can survive being hit by a meteor, ejected into space, and hurtled back to Earth on the face of a rock—which is good news should we ever go the way of the dinosaurs, Astrobiology reports.

Researchers smashed life-filled rocks with metal plates, simulating the pressures they would face being jolted into space. Other studies have showed life would endure re-entry, but the initial departure was still a question mark. So, rest easy: "A re-seeding scenario on a planetary surface is possible with diverse organisms,” the study said.