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Introduce microbes on Mars?

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Hello,

 

A human visit/colony to Mars is arguably a future possibility but aside from the actual travel part, Mars presents a series of obstacles.

 

Would introducing a potential carefully selected strain of microbes/bacteria be a good idea?

 

If certain bacteria could survive in the harsh Mars environment could it improve the atmosphere over a long time period? Create greenhouse gasses?

 

Also what are the potential dangers/cons of such an introduction.

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Hello,

 

A human visit/colony to Mars is arguably a future possibility but aside from the actual travel part, Mars presents a series of obstacles.

 

Would introducing a potential carefully selected strain of microbes/bacteria be a good idea?

 

If certain bacteria could survive in the harsh Mars environment could it improve the atmosphere over a long time period? Create greenhouse gasses?

 

Also what are the potential dangers/cons of such an introduction.

Cons are that you may contaminate mars and kill any life that may already be there.

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Cons are that you may contaminate mars and kill any life that may already be there.

That decision may be a cost-benefit exercise when we reach that stage.

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Would introducing a potential carefully selected strain of microbes/bacteria be a good idea?

 

If certain bacteria could survive in the harsh Mars environment could it improve the atmosphere over a long time period? Create greenhouse gasses?

The human body has more microbes in and on it than it has human cells; thus, careful selection of microbes may not be possible. However, since they grow in and on people, they may not survive the Martian environment. Moreover, people will be sealed inside an environmental suit, habitat or other structure that will prevent mass contamination of Mars. Inevitably, some will escape.

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It is probable that we have already introduced microbes to Mars and by using a careful selection process. i.e. those that could survive the less than perfect sterilisation process for the Mars landers.

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Earth microbes on Mars would only be an issue deep down under ground in lava tubes where there is an environment approaching Earth-like. On the surface, they would be killed, destroyed, and sterilized rapidly.

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