NASA plan to SEND LIFE to Mars to create oxygen before human colonisation2 min read

The agency is planning to send microscopic organisms into space to land on the Red Planet, in order to see if they can produce oxygen and therefore pave the way for humans to one day colonise Mars.

How a colonised Mars may look in mock up by Mars One project which aims to send 100 people there

How a colonised Mars may look in mock up by Mars One project which aims to send 100 people there

The experiment follows successful laboratory tests on algae and bacteria and how they react with soil from Mars.

NASA experimented in a specially-created “dummy Mars” to see if astronauts would be able to use microorganisms from Earth together with the surface of Mars to create life-sustaining oxygen.

Experts are confident of being able to land on Mars from 2030 and hope the pioneering new technology will be available at that time.

The agency has been working with company Techshot Inc, from South Carolina, on the technology in a special ‘Mars room; laboratory, which replicates the conditions of the red planet on Earth.

So far during experiments, some minute organisms were capable of making oxygen out of Martian soil – which is called regolith.

These microscopic creatures were also found to have removed nitrogen from the soil.

Eugene Boland, chief scientist at Techshot, said: “This is a possible way to support a human mission to Mars, producing oxygen without having to send heavy gas canisters. Let’s send microbes and let them do the heavy-lifting for us.”

Researchers predict “biomes” – or huge tents – containing the organisms will be spread across the surface of Mars to produce and store oxygen to allow humans to breathe.

The surface of Mars is currently inhospitable to humans due to lack of oxygen

The surface of Mars is currently inhospitable to humans due to lack of oxygen

They now want to carry out the same tests as conducted in their laboratories on Mars itself.

It is anticipated organisms that created oxygen from the soil in the laboratory will be sent to the Red Planet in an unmanned probe with a surface operated “rover” – which would bury them on the surface of Mars in containers.

Sensors would then measure how much oxygen, if any, is made.

Researchers in the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Programme, are mindful of the risk of contaminating Mars with “alien” life from Earth and acknowledge they will have to ensure the containers are tightly sealed and unbreakable.

If all goes to plan they believe one day multiple biomes on the surface of Mars could make the planet habitable for humans.

SHARE THIS POST
Love
Haha
Wow
Sad
Angry

Sebastien Clarke

Astronaut is dedicated to bringing you the latest news, reviews and information from the world of space, entertainment, sci-fi and technology. With videos, images, forums, blogs and more, get involved today & join our community!
Sebastien Clarke
Sebastien Clarke

Astronaut is dedicated to bringing you the latest news, reviews and information from the world of space, entertainment, sci-fi and technology. With videos, images, forums, blogs and more, get involved today & join our community!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also like...

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from Astronaut.com.

You have Successfully Subscribed!