Mars Can Be Colonized by Bacteria From Earth

Filed under Science

A new research found bacteria from Earth could easily colonize other worlds, including Mars.

The research conducted on board the International Space Station of NASA, indicated that a bacteria survived after 18 months of exposure to extreme space conditions.

The study’s main goal is to know how to prevent microorganisms from Earth from getting a ride to Mars through spacecraft. By doing so, NASA will learn which types of microorganisms to focus on during the sanitation procedure. But instead, the researchers also found that some bacteria have partial resistant to even more hostile outer space environment.

Researchers from the German Aerospace Center, California Institute of Technology and Jet Propulsion Laboratory exposed bacteria to dark space conditions for 18 months. It was revealed that spores, in particular, showed 10-40% survivability compared to 85-100% survival rate when they were kept aboard the ISS under dark simulated Mars atmosphere.

Researchers say the data shows the high chance of spores survival on a Mars mission, if they are protected against solar irradiation. In other words, ultraviolet light was proven to be the only effective means at killing the organisms.