The question of whether simple life can survive in space is hardly new, but it has lately taken on a new urgency.
It is not only a pressing scientific question — might life from Mars or another body have seeded life on Earth? Might organisms similar to extreme Earth life survive Mars-like conditions? — but it is also has some very practical implications. If humans are going to some day land and live on the moon or on Mars, they will need to grow food to survive.