Skip to comments.Will the first colony on Mars be started by microbes from Earth?
Posted on 05/03/2014 8:55:23 PM PDT by BenLurkin
Currently, spacecraft bound for Mars or other bodies in our solar system must meet the requirements for a maximal allowable amount of microbial life.
These bioburden levels were established based on studies of how well various organisms respond to the rigors of space travel. These conditions are incredibly harsh and might include extreme cold or heat, high levels of radiation and the airless vacuum of space.
However, recent research has shown some organisms to be much hardier than expected. Spores of Bacillus pumilus SAFR-032, for example, have shown high resistance to the techniques used to clean a spacecraft, such as UV radiation and peroxide treatment. They have also survived in a simulated Mars environment for 30 minutes, when most spores in that environment died after 30 seconds. In one experiment, the spores were exposed for 18 months on the European Technology Exposure Facility (EuTEF), a test facility mounted outside the ISS.
After testing exposure to the simulated Mars environment, we wanted to see what would happen in real space, and EuTEF gave us the chance. To our surprise, some of the spores survived for 18 months, says Venkateswaran.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailydigestnews.com ...
Ensuring no earth microbes make it to Mars will only guarantee no human exploration of that planet
I happen to think this is a good idea.
There are several microbes in DC that would be perfect specimens. >:)
Those are macrobes lol
Somehow this all reminds me of THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES.
I think sending microbes intentionally could be a good way to begin the long task of terraforming.
Seems to me that the whole program of sterilizing the craft is backwards.
We won’t colonize anything unless we get rid of global PCism.
At one time Earth had very little oxygen —cyanobacteria changed that.
They can change that for Mars, also.
We should have done this YEARS ago.
They say the amount of ice under Mar’s south pole would provide enough water, were Mars warmer and totally flat, to submerge all of it’s surface area to a depth of 11 meters.
Before humans get there, they should let cyanobacteria work their magic for a dozen or so years.
I believe now that Mars’ atmospher is just 0.1% oxygen.
What about a civilization of dust bunnies?
Why not introduce a wheelbarrow of plant life that is tolerant of extreme hot and cold conditions?
It's not only law, it's international treaty. NASA has a Planetary Protection Office.
It's all about making sure we don't contaminate extra-terrestrial bodies.
The reverse isn't such a high priority.
Only a government could be so stupid.
Um, I wish these stupid “ Colonize Mars” fantasies would end. You have to have a human survive the Van Allen radiation belt.... Good luck with that.
Speaking of finding microbes on Mars or another planet or asteroid, please consider the following. How will scientists know for sure that such a finding isn’t the result of earth space vehicles that were contaminated with the “bugs,” even in the atmosphere, before they left the earth’s atmosphere?
Every lunar mission passed through the Van Allen belts.
Gemini and Apollo missions already solved that problem. The real problem is years in zero and low gravity environments. Most of the day you’d have to exercising just to fight off atrophy.
I thought they were fungi!
As far as the radiation on the surface of mars is concerned, its comparable to what astronauts experience on the space station. (aside from spikes caused by solar flares) A thicker atmosphere would bring those levels down even more.
Generating a magnetosphere would be the holy grail of making mars truly habitable but I suppose it could be done on a smaller scale to protect human colonies.
They were not exposed to long term radiation that a mission to mars would be. Also have you checked out the trajectory that you would need to have in order to RETURN from mars? You are sitting for 2.5 year on the red planet (of course there would be no way to supply you for that long) before the planets orbit is within reach of the earth again.