The two planets do not look very similar, but our stratosphere-the atmosphere 20 miles from the Earth’s surface-has the same qualities as Mars.Our home planet sThe air pressure in the stratosphere is low and radiation levels are high. It is dry and cold-much like the surface of the red planet.
Scientists from NASA and the German Aerospace Center use MARSBOx or microorganisms in the atmosphere to conduct radiation, survival and biological results experiments, and jointly send four types of microorganisms into the stratosphere through balloons.
The co-author of the study, David J. Smith of MARSBOx, stated: “If microorganisms can hack to death most of the protective ozone layer, then it may be able to survive (for short periods of time) before heading to the surface of Mars. Journey”
Microorganisms or microorganisms, There is extensive coverage on the earth. It is estimated that there are 1 trillion species on the earth. They also found that they lived in harsh environments under extreme conditions.
NASA scientists need to know whether these microorganisms can survive on Mars, because they continue to send robotic explorers to the Red Planet on behalf of humans. This is why the mission team behind these rover (such as the recently landed Perseverance Rover) takes the cleanliness of these machines very seriously before launching them to Mars.
To test the possibility of microbes surviving on Mars, the research team placed millions of microbes (including dry and dormant fungi and bacterial spores representing the four types of microbes) on a quartz disk. Place these discs in aluminum boxes designed by research collaborators at the German Aerospace Center.
Pump a gas mixture, mainly carbon dioxide, similar to the atmosphere in Mars into the tank. On September 23, 2019, Fort Sumner, New Mexico, released a large scientific balloon containing experiments.
During the ascent and descent, blinds are used to help protect microorganisms from sunlight. But once they reach the Earth’s stratosphere, which is 24 miles high, the shutters open and expose them to the harsh radiation there. The microorganisms were exposed to this for more than five hours, and the temperature averaged minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
In the stratosphere, the pressure and pressure are a thousand times less than ours at sea level, and the air is very dry.
When the experiment returned to the ground, the scientists determined that two of the four species survived, proving that these two species can temporarily withstand the harsh conditions of the Earth’s stratosphere and the surface of Mars.
According to the study: “This research gives us a better understanding of which microorganisms may be surfaced in environments that were once considered deadly (such as the surface of Mars), and provides us with information on how to avoid unintentionally bringing young travelers to A clue to a destination in another world.” Co-author, MARSBOx co-researcher, and head of the Aeromicrobiology Research Group at the German Aerospace Center Ralf Moeller, said in a statement.
The surviving species include Staphylococcus and Salmonella. The first is bacteria related to human skin, and the second is bacteria found in deep-sea salt ponds.
Aspergillus niger (a fungus used to produce antibiotics) is dried and sent to the experiment, once it returns from the stratosphere of the earth, it can also be restored.
“Spores from Aspergillus niger are extremely resistant to high temperatures, irritating chemicals and other stressors, but no one has ever studied whether they can be in space or in space like we see on Mars. Survive under strong radiation.” The lead author of the study, Marta Cortesão, a doctoral student in the Aeromicrobiology Research Group of the German Aerospace Center, said in a statement.
“The fact that we can resurrect them after their MARSBOx flight shows that they have enough enthusiasm to endure wherever humans go, even beyond the planet.”
Aspergillus niger may have sunscreen-like pigmentation or self-protective cell structure.
Cortesão said: “This experiment has raised many questions about which genetic mechanisms are the key to the survival of microorganisms.” “Do they have ancient evolutionary characteristics that enable them to withstand harsh conditions or adapt to the current environment for many other reasons.” Environmental challenges provide protection?”
Future research can help scientists better determine the reasons for the survival of these microorganisms. A follow-up flight to MARSBOx in Antarctica is being planned, where solar radiation and galactic cosmic rays from space are more similar to Mars.
Smith said: “These aerobiological experiments on balloon flights allow us to study the resilience of microorganisms in ways impossible in the laboratory.” “MARSBOx provides an opportunity to predict the survival outcomes of Mars and help establish what we know Life limit.”
At the same time, these findings may help plan future missions to Mars. The author wrote in the study: “The renewed focus on Mars robots and human exploration will expand the demand for other Mars simulation research in the next few years.”
Research author Katharina Siems said: “With the long-term manned mission to Mars, we need to know how human-related microbes will survive on the red planet, because certain microbes May pose a health risk to astronauts.” The Aerospace Microbiology Research Group of the German Aerospace Center in a statement.
“In addition, certain microorganisms may be invaluable for space exploration. They can help us produce food and materials independently of the earth, which is vital when we are far from home. Microorganisms are closely connected with us; our bodies, food, and our Environment, so it’s impossible to exclude them from space travel.”