Chinese scientists identify super algae capable of 'surviving' on Mars

This organism is able to withstand extreme drought, extremely low temperatures and radiation, so it could help sustain potential colonies on the “Red Planet”.

Scientists have identified a species of extremely hardy desert algae in western China. Xinjiang which can help maintain potential colonies in MarsA study showed that Chinese Academy of Sciences.

When exposed to conditions simulating the Martian environment, he discovered that the moss – Syntricia Caninervis – It was able to withstand extreme drought, extremely low temperatures and radiation, the academy reported in a research paper published in the journal The Innovation last week.

Moss can serve as “a foundation for ecosystem establishment and maintenance, contributing to oxygen production, carbon sequestration and soil fertility,” the researcher said in the study published July 1.

“(It) could help drive the atmospheric, geological and ecological processes necessary for plants and other higher animals, while facilitating the creation of new habitable environments conducive to long-term human settlement,” the document adds.

In the research, the scientists found that even after losing more than 98% of its cellular water content, the algae was able to restore its metabolic and physiological activities within seconds of being rehydrated.

When the plant is healthy, it can also tolerate very low temperatures and regenerate after being stored in the refrigerator. – 80 degrees Celsius (minus 112°F) for five years or in liquid nitrogen for one month.

Moss is found in Xinjiang, Tibet, California desert, the Middle East, and polar regions.

The race to make a bigger footprint in space has pushed China and United State To launch exploration plans in recent years.

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Chinese missions include launching a near-Earth asteroid probe. Tianwen-2 Next year and Tianwen-3 Around 2030 to return samples from Mars. Last month, China retrieved samples from the far side of the moon.

in the United States, a pot He has drawn up a 20-year plan for Mars, seeking answers about whether the Red Planet is habitable for humans.

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