Life on Mars?

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BATTERI MARZIANI E TERRESTRI

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The primary objective for the Viking’s lender was the search of the life on Mars. Specifically address the question of actual or prehistoric life. The two lenders carried a miniaturized biology laboratory. The biology instruments where a masterwork of automation and miniaturization, but surely too limited for a search so important. So complicate where the instruments that engineers never got all three experiments to work in one prototype on Earth. Several project scientists would have been satisfied if just one experiment had worked properly on Mars. The results of the three analysis were ambiguous and contradictory eluding the questions of the scientists.

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The intriguing Mars bacteria of meteorite ALH84001

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Mars have an atmospheric pressure corresponds to the terrestrial one to 30,500 meters on the sea level, so protection from the ultraviolet radiation doesn't exist, and there must be expected a surface sterile and full of radiation. It’s also true that once on Mars the atmospheric pressure was much more elevated than today and it allow the existence of water to the liquid state like pictures of dried beds of lakes and rivers tell us. Other important element of life, is the presence, of ice of water in both the polar caps, and the formation of fogs of water vapor on the bottom of the canyon.

The presence of water, "crib of the life," worry a lot the biologist because the life on the Earth preserve and also survive in extreme conditions. If they are excited from the idea of discover new forms of extraterrestrial life, in the same time they are concerned that the return of samples from Mars could contain dangerous microorganisms for the whole terrestrial ecosystem. Before we undertake a sample return mission we need to address two crucial scientific questions: is there extant life on Mars? And if such life does exist is there danger in contaminating Earth with such organism?

 

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Terrestrial Mars laboratory

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Furthermore the scientists don't underestimate the danger of an accidental contact between possible Martian microorganisms and the future astronauts that they will explore the planet. In the same time is of vital importance that doesn't happen the contrary, that the future astronauts with his machineries doesn't contaminate the Martian surface with terrestrial microorganisms.Otherwise if unfortunately has be done this with all our automated landing missions (last and future), we must not exchange terrestrial microorganisms forms with native life.

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Surviving of cactus in Mars environment.

(left to right 60 to 300 days)

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Right -  a plant introduced in Mars environment.

Left - another plant wich receive some water from a branch.

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The african plant of   Haworthia after 30 days in Mars environment.

The plant is rapidly wasting but in the center there was new bud!

 

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The problem is of enormous importance and involves numerous groups of study, and all the spatial agencies interested in sanding probes on the planet with the purpose of return sample from Mars. For the Return Sample Mission, the scientists must chosen the landing site where there are the best possible of ecological presence. Not only near the poles but also at the equator where ice could be separated from the surface from only 500 meters of ground and rock.  With the sample we will be able to obtain all the necessary information to give the correct answers.  It’s clear that's very important to taken the sample in the right site, to avoid the risk to start of an unwise human exploration of Mars!

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