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Lichen on Mars

mars lichen life

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#1    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 01:26 PM

Lichen on Mars


www.astrobio.net said:

Humans cannot hope to survive life on Mars without plenty of protection from the surface radiation, freezing night temperatures and dust storms on the red planet. So they could be excused for marveling at humble Antarctic lichen that has shown itself capable of going beyond survival and adapting to life in simulated Martian conditions.

The mere feat of surviving temperatures as low as -51 degrees C and enduring a radiation bombardment during a 34-day experiment might seem like an accomplishment by itself. But the lichen, a symbiotic mass of fungi and algae, also proved it could adapt physiologically to living a normal life in such harsh Martian conditions as long as the lichen lived under "protected" conditions shielded from much of the radiation within "micro-niches" such as cracks in the Martian soil or rocks.    

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#2    Norbert the Incredible

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 01:30 PM

Slightly, probably intentionally, misleading headline there, perhaps, in the story I mean. What they mean is, they've decided that lichen would be capable of existing on Mars, not that they've found some.

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#3    Peter B

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 01:38 PM

View PostColonel Rhubarb, on 16 January 2014 - 01:30 PM, said:

Slightly, probably intentionally, misleading headline there, perhaps, in the story I mean. What they mean is, they've decided that lichen would be capable of existing on Mars, not that they've found some.
Click bait? Perish the thought!


#4    Zeta Reticulum

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 05:19 AM

A chance to Terrafirm Mars? Lichen might be able to be grown in crevices and caverns, eventually multiplying and giving off oxygen?


#5    Peter B

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 01:00 PM

View PostZeta Reticulum, on 17 January 2014 - 05:19 AM, said:

A chance to Terrafirm Mars? Lichen might be able to be grown in crevices and caverns, eventually multiplying and giving off oxygen?
Possibly, but very slow.

If we wanted to terraform Mars on a reasonable timescale, I sort of imagined we'd do it by directing a few comets to crash into Mars.


#6    Taun

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 01:30 PM

I doubt we will be allowed to even attempt a terraforming of Mars for many - many years... The scientists will want to extensively explore and examine the planet for signs
of original martian life, before we start importing terrestrial life forms...

So think in terms of centuries before we can actually try to live there...


#7    third_eye

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 02:38 PM

Lichen Farms on MArs ... invest now and reap the potential profits with minimal investments - apply now - T & C applies ...

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#8    Frank Merton

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 02:43 PM

As the sun warms (not the present global warming which is not related to the sun) the earth will over the next half million years become progressively less friendly, and Mars and then the outer moons may become way-stations.  In the end, though, humanity will have to leave the sun behind.






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