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I don't know how lively life is on Mars but at least the scientists back home are happy! There appears to be life in the caves of Mars and this is the subject that can develop into the primordal soup discussions about comets delivering life to planets ... special delivery!
It's intriguing, but not conclusive. We've found biosignature of life. If we can rule out non-biological causes for them, then we can say that we have found life on Mars. But we can't make that bold statement yet.
If the universe is a ball the size of America, then the solar system is almost as large as the smallest cell in the human body.
Post by Chicago Astronomer - Astro Joe on Nov 9, 2005 20:09:15 GMT -6
Lichen Can Survive in Space
(Nov 9, 2005) Scientists have found that hardy bacteria can survive a trip into space, and now the list of natural astronauts includes lichen. During a recent experiment by ESA, lichen astronauts were placed on board the Foton-M2 rocket and launched into space where they were exposed to vacuum, extreme temperatures and ultraviolet radiation for 14.6 days. Upon analysis, it appears that the lichens handled their spaceflight just fine, in fact, they're so hardy, it's possible they could survive on the surface of Mars.
This experiment opens up many possibilities for future research into the possibility of transfer of life between planets. Follow up experiments could focus on questions such as to what extent lichen, if transported by a meteorite, can survive the reentry conditions into Earth’s atmosphere, i.e. what degree of shielding would be needed for lichen samples to survive? The outcome of this Biopan experiment also suggests that lichens might survive at the surface of Mars. Follow-up experiments on ground and in space are bound to provide further answers to these intriguing astrobiological questions