News – en – Earth microbes could survive on Martian surface, study shows


As NASA’s Perseverance rover landed on Mars last week, a new study by scientists at the agency space and the German Aerospace Center revealed that some microbes on Earth may temporarily survive on the surface of the Red Planet

Researchers tested the endurance of microorganisms to Martian conditions by launching them into the Earth’s stratosphere, as it closely represents key conditions on Mars

Published in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology, this work paves the way for understanding not only the threat of microbes to space missions, but also the opportunities for resource independence from Earth

“We have successfully tested a new way to expose bacteria and fungi to Mars-like conditions by using a science balloon to fly our experimental equipment to Earth’s stratosphere,” Marta said. Filipa Cortesao, co-author of this study from the German Aerospace Center in Cologne, Germany

“Some microbes, especially black mold fungus spores, were able to survive the trip, even when exposed to very high UV (ultraviolet) radiation”

Understanding the stamina of microbes in space travel is essential for the success of future missions

When we search for alien life, we need to make sure that whatever we discover has not simply traveled with us from Earth

“With long-term crewed missions to Mars, we need to know how human microorganisms might survive on the Red Planet, as some may pose a risk to the health of astronauts,” said the first co- author Katharina Siems, also based at the German Aerospace Center

“In addition, some microbes could be invaluable for space exploration They could help us produce food and materials independently of Earth, which will be crucial when we are away from home.”

Many key features of the Martian surface environment cannot be found or easily replicated on the surface of our planet However, above the ozone layer in the Earth’s middle stratosphere, conditions are remarkably similar

“We launched the microbes into the stratosphere inside the MARSBOx (Microbes in Atmosphere for Radiation, Survival and Biological Outcomes) payload, which was held at Martian pressure and filled with an all-man-made Martian atmosphere. throughout the mission, ”Cortesao explained

“Although not all the microbes survived the trip, a microbe already detected on the International Space Station, the black mold Aspergillus niger, could be resuscitated after returning home,” says Siems, who points out the importance of this ongoing research

Earth, Mars 2020, NASA, Microorganism

News – EN – Earth microbes could survive on Martian surface, study shows – Reuters
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