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Mars Earth Space

ISS Studies Show Bacteria From Earth Could Colonize Mars 103

As reported by Tech Times, research conducted aboard the ISS has shown that Earth bacteria could survive the rigors of travel to Mars better than might be expected. "Research into bacterial colonization on the red planet was not part of the plan to terraform the alien world ahead of human occupation. Instead, three teams investigated how to prevent microbes from Earth from hitching a ride to the red planet aboard spacecraft. It is nearly impossible to remove all biological contaminants from equipment headed to other planets. By better understanding what organisms can survive in space or on the surfaces of other worlds, mission planners can learn which forms of microscopic life to concentrate on during the sanitation process. 'If you are able to reduce the numbers to acceptable levels, a proxy for cleanliness, the assumption is that the life forms will not survive under harsh space conditions,' Kasthuri Venkateswaran of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and co-author of all three papers, said."
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ISS Studies Show Bacteria From Earth Could Colonize Mars

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  • by TrollstonButterbeans ( 2914995 ) on Sunday May 04, 2014 @08:46PM (#46915925)
    Title of TFA = "Bacteria from Earth can easily colonize Mars"

    And article makes no such claim.

    It says spores would survive to Mars, which isn't surprising.

    Once there, then what?

    No singificant amounts water, no source of nutrients to digest, no oxygen to convert sugar to energy. temperatures around -40 celsius, possibly toxic soil and atmospheric pressure low enough it might affect metabolism otherwise --- and little shielding from ultraviolet light (no ozone layer).

    Article title is fun proof of what happens when someone with to no interest/education in science tries to interpret information and draw a conclusion.
  • by TapeCutter ( 624760 ) on Monday May 05, 2014 @04:15AM (#46917241) Journal
    The question is not weather they will spread on Mars, the question is how do you prevent experimental equipment designed to detect Martian microbes from detecting Earth microbes that came along for the ride. Also they do not need to be exotic Earth species to survive inside the equipment, common lichen for example can survive the vacuum/radiation of space for at least a year, as demonstrated by experiments performed at the ISS.

If all else fails, immortality can always be assured by spectacular error. -- John Kenneth Galbraith