Remember the late Michael Crichton’s landmark science fiction novel and pretty cool movie The Andromeda Strain? The story revolved around an alien strain of biological material that hitchhiked its way to Earth on a retrieved military satellite. Pure science fiction. Great science fiction. Totally speculative.
But now it just might have happened. It seems that astrobiologist Dr. Richard B. Hoover from NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center has uncovered an alien, space-traveling bacterium. This one grabbed a ride on a meteorite. Scanning electron microscopy has revealed the fossil of a large bacterium, similar to one found on Earth, hidden inside the chunk of space rock.
Is this evidence of life in space? Is it conceivable that some space traveling organism could fall to earth and wipe us all out? Who knows. Time will tell.
As it says on the cover of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: “DON’T PANIC.”
But it should add speculative fuel to those of you who write in the sci-fi genre.