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Space is effectively a vacuum and for most lifeforms was deadly. Some lifeforms did live in open space while others could survive for short periods when exposed to it; Changelings could survive a short time in space, in the year 2370 when a Horta tunnelled out through Deep Space 9's hull the Changeling Odo formed himself into a plug, leaving him exposed to space for a short while but saving other occupants of the room. The Horta was fully exposed to space and when beamed back aboard the station was thought dead, however it was eventually found that it too could survive some exposure to space but had fallen into a coma, which it later recovered from with no lasting effect. (DS9 novel: Devil in the Sky)