The rock that was sent into space
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What happened to the rocks that were launched into space?

A small English fishing village has produced an out-of-this-world discovery.

Bacteria taken from cliffs at Beer on the South Coast have shown themselves to be hardy space travellers.

The bugs were put on the exterior of the space station to see how they would cope in the hostile conditions that exist above the Earth's atmosphere.

And when scientists inspected the microbes a year and a half later, they found many were still alive.

These survivors are now thriving in a laboratory at the Open University in Milton Keynes, as Professor Charles Cockell explains.

  • 23 Aug 2010