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Antarctic Bacteria will Fly to Outer Space
December 19, 2015 12:38

The microorganisms, which were in permafrost of the Arctic and Antarctic for millions of years, will be delivered to the outer space by the Russian biosatellite Bion-M 2 in 2020 to prove the possibility of life existence on the Mars.
The research supervisor of the experiment, the research associate of Institute of Physical, Chemical and Biological Problems of Soil Science, RAS Elisaveta Rivkina reported about it.
“The purpose of the experiment is to determine whether life can remain for so long, if we take the Mars, for example... We need to find out how long they (bacteria) can survive in such conditions. What if we find on the other planet the things we ourselves brought there?” - she said.
Mrs. Rivkina explained that spacecrafts from the Earth may incidentally bring life onto other planets. Therefore experiment is meant to check, whether terrestrial bacteria can survive in conditions of another planet. Besides, the scientists will find out, whether the microorganisms can live in the conditions similar to that on the Mars.
According to her, bacteria and other representatives of protozoa, for example, infusorians and amoebas, were selected for space flight in the most ancient permafrost of the northern hemisphere - the area of the Kolyma Lowland in the northeast of Siberia, as well as in Antarctica.
“We plan to send to outer space the permafrost samples as such to see to what extent the biota survives, and separate microbic cultures, which have already been derived from permafrost”, - the scientist explained.
According to the interlocutor of agency, to samples from the Arctic are one million or even more years old. There is no exact data on the age of samples from Antarctica so far, but the expedition expected to find permafrost that is about 30 million years old. “The expedition went to Antarctica to find the most ancient permafrost on the Earth”, - Mrs. Rivkina explained.
The experiment has been approved by the Space Council of the Russian Academy of Sciences in the program of scientific research and experiments with the use of Bion-M 2, which is planned to be launched in 2020. The spacecraft will be brought to the height of 800-1000 kilometers above the Earth – that is twice higher, than the International Space Station. The space flight will last for 30 days.
Having appeared about 3.9-3.5 billion years ago, bacteria are one of the first live organisms on the Earth.


Author: Vera Ivanova

Tags: Space Exploration Permafrost Arctic Antarctic  

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