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:
- Take microorganisms that live in the upper atmosphere and can survive high radiation
- Recreate their natural environment in a lab, and let them live there
- Slowly change the environment to be more similar to Mars: pressure, temperature swings, radiation, relative gas concentration
- 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.