Bacteria could survive in space long enough to reach Mars (DIY perseverance)

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EXCERPTS: Life on Earth emerged about four billion years ago. Scientists are pretty certain of that. What they still haven't figured out, though, is exactly how this happened. Did deep-sea vents spew out the building blocks of the first lifeforms? Could lightning have zapped them into existence? Might they have hitched a ride to Earth from elsewhere? That final theory is part of a wider (controversial) idea known as "panspermia."

It suggests that life exists throughout the universe and could travel between celestial bodies aboard asteroids, comets, and even spacecraft. [...] if microbial life can survive the harsh conditions of space to travel to Earth, there's also a chance it could survive trips from Earth to other planets, meaning we'd need to be extra careful to clear our spacecraft of any tiny hitchhikers before launch. Still, space is an incredibly extreme environment, with wild temperature fluctuations and harsh radiation, and any trip between two relatively close planets would take months or even years.

But now, a new study suggests that at least one type of hardy bacteria would be able to survive the journey between Mars and the Earth. [...] Still, the Japanese study only suggests that Deinococcus could likely survive the trip from Mars to Earth. It doesn't tell us whether the bacteria could live through whatever could have happened to launch it into space in the first place - such as an asteroid or comet impact - or the scorching heat of entering the Earth's atmosphere and impacting the surface... (MORE - details)

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