I know I watch every Science Fiction Movie regardless of the number of stars, and correct me if I am wrong but I could swear there was one about a microbe released on Mars to make it inhabitable but it didn’t quite work due to other factors. Now, NASA plans to send microscopic organisms to Mars to produce Oxygen to support human life. Still, I doubt that they would experience such catastrophic failure due to their own robotic creations gone all alien on them!
Regardless, the recent discovery that there is real actual running water on Mars (okay it has some P in its soil which in turn lowers the temperature required for water to freeze.) Consider – if we can get it to grow the water should get it to continue. I am sure NASA scientists could make a few genetic changes to the lawn seed that would make the scenario work out.
Has NASA done any research, have any reason to believe it may work? Yes. NASA created a ‘Mini Mars’ complete with Martian regolith and mimicked all the other conditions of Mars right here on Earth. Then they tested if the microorganisms were able to produce human- life sustaining oxygen.
How’s it going? The experiment to date has been a success. Not the shout it from every rooftop type, but a success none the less. The micro-organisms have even succeeded in removing some Nitrogen from the soil.
The goal? Well NASA Researchers are contemplating sending these organisms in containers to set up little biomes (or eco-systems) on Mars. They would be sent via a rover and sensors would track their progress.
One thing for sure, we will find any life on Mars that has thus far gone undetected. Whether it be life that can ‘t handle the Oxygen in the system so we find it searching for what is going on or perhaps some alien life that has gone dormant since back when Mars had oxygen now is revived. OKAY – perhaps the Sci Fi author is a tad happy that this is going on, but the part of me that just loves the science also thinks it is cool.
I can’t help but wonder about the endgame. To date, I believe the atmosphere needs to have work done as well, either simultaneously or in anticipation of the other so that the oxygen produced doesn’t just slip away into the Glaxy. Regardless, this answers so much if it works out!
The fact that NASA is researching this and planning the details proves that a civilian mission to Mars cannot and should not happen without NASA!