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Curiosity Took 65 Bacteria Species On Trip To Mars

Posted in Science on 19th May, 2014 11:42 PM by AlexMuller

You know you've got a microbiome. Did you know NASA's Curiosity rover does, too? A recent study of swabs taken from the rover before it launched found its surfaces contained 65 bacteria species, Nature News reports. It's not known whether any of those Earthly critters survived the journey to Mars.


Spacefaring Earth bacteria would only make space science harder. Engineers are supposed to put spacecraft like Curiosity through a stringent cleaning regimen before launch. Scientists don't want to contaminate other planets with Earth life forms.

They also don't want contamination in their own instruments, which could make it appear that they have detected alien life when they're really only measuring Earth-origin hitchhikers.
Yet certain species of bacteria are known to survive even NASA's cleanrooms. In addition, reported in 2011 that Curiosity may not have gotten as thorough of a cleaning as it should have.
Wondering about what remained on Curiosity even after cleaning, scientists from the University of Idaho and California's Jet Propulsion Laboratory swabbed different parts of the rover before sending it off.

Tags: spaceMarsbacteriaCuriosityNASA

Read original article » Back to category


Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-05-20
Bacteria are outnumbering all other life forms on Earth - this is their world and we just live in it. However, taking them to space is altogether different matter with unknown consequences
2 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-05-20
Well at least we will know which bacteria from Earth can be now found on Mars - so we know the origin of life on Mars if find it Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-05-20
It is amazing that among the bacteria found on Curiosity about 10% survived at least two of the following conditions: desiccation, ultraviolet light exposure, extreme cold and extreme pH levels Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-06-04
rrrrrrrrrr............ Reply


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