It seems that there may have been life on Mars, and it's also tempting to terraform and colonize the planet. This question is about testing the hypothesis "Can primitive life survive on Mars?". This is closely linked to the lithopanspermia hypothesis, that life can be seeded from bacteria on meteorites.

The hypothetical experimental setup is as follows:

  1. Take microorganisms that live in the upper atmosphere and can survive high radiation
  2. Recreate their natural environment in a lab, and let them live there
  3. Slowly change the environment to be more similar to Mars: pressure, temperature swings, radiation, relative gas concentration
  4. See if they are able to adjust

My question is: Is this possible? Has anyone done it, or is doing it currently? I know tardigrades are being sent to the moon, but they're hardly thriving there.

My apologies if the non-expert question is off topic. If you can suggest a more appropriate place to ask, I'll keenly do so.

  • $\begingroup$ Some consider the invasion of extraterrestrial environments on a moral ground, but that's not what I'm asking here. $\endgroup$
    – MrMartin
    Dec 15, 2020 at 15:33
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Biology.SE! Please take the tour and then go through the help center pages starting with How to Ask questions effectively on this site. In general, we expect you to do some research on your own and then, informed by what you have learned, ask any questions you still have (ideally with references to reliable sources). At a minimum, you should search on this site for related questions before posting to avoid duplicate questions. Please also see this sites criteria for "homework". Thanks! 😊 $\endgroup$
    – tyersome
    Dec 15, 2020 at 18:56


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