Thursday, July 6, 2017

Martian soil even more toxic than previously thought.

The bacterial cells lost viability within minutes in Mars-like conditions, the researchers found. And the results were even more dramatic when Wadsworth and Cockell added iron oxides and hydrogen peroxide, two other common components of Martian regolith, to the mix: Over the course of 60 seconds, the combination of irradiated perchlorates, iron oxides and hydrogen peroxide boosted the B. subtilis death rate by a factor of 10.8 compared to cells exposed to UV radiation alone, the researchers found.
"These data show that the combined effects of at least three components of the Martian surface, activated by surface photochemistry, render the present-day surface more uninhabitable than previously thought and demonstrate the low probability of survival of biological contaminants released from robotic and human exploration missions," Wadsworth and Cockell wrote in the study.
So, yet one more reason establishing cities of "millions," as some have said, on Mars is not very likely to happen.


  1. There is no reason to go to Mars. And the Jovian icy moons' radiation levels because of Jupiter make a human landing very unlikely in the near term. Ceres may be a better place to stick the flag?

  2. For some reason, I am reminded of Michael Crichton's 1969 breakthrough novel, The Andromeda Strain. :-)