[meteorite-list] On a serious note
From: Sterling K. Webb <sterling_k_webb_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Sat, 6 Jun 2009 00:56:28 -0500
Hi, Pete, List
These experiments have been done, starting early
in the 1950's. They were called "Mars Jars"! In general,
the answer is that Earthly life of the simple and tough
varieties does very well in a wide range of other-worldly
environments. This without enough time to genetically
adapt to them very much.
No doubt in my mind that if we humans travel around
the solar system and/or the rest of universe we will,
intentionally or inadvertently, drag our terrestrial biota
with us. Just look at the spread of invasive species on
our own planet -- it's basically uncontrollable in the long
If there is no life on other worlds now, there will be
once we visit. If the kinds of life we know of can adapt
and thrive (given billions of years) on the hell-hole this
planet was in its beginnings, it can do it anywhere.
A fair number of tested microbes did well on Mars
Jars. Lichens (primitive plants) did well also. Mark
mentioned the Tardigrades, or Water Bears. They did
fine in the Mars Jars, all kinds of Mars Jars. If I were
going to Mars, I'd hide some Tardi's in my luggage and
sprinkle them anywhere that looked wet... Tardigrades
are animals just like us -- well, from an alien perspective,
they're just like us, legs and heads and eyes and mouths,
same organs, even though they are tiny and waddle as
Besides all the Mars Jars tests, there have been tests
of growing Earthly plants at Martian pressures (but warmer
temperatures) and vegetables do very well if we keep them
from freezing. Here's a picture of lettuce in the Martian air:
Do they have Ranch dressing on Mars?
What you have to remember is that lifeforms only need
to get a toe-hold and hang on long enough for adaptations
that further their survival in that environment to build up.
Studies suggest that "contamination" is pretty much inevitable:
To the dismay of the germophobic, larger lifeforms on
the Earth swim in a sea of trillions of microbes, are themselves
forests full of microbes, drip microbes with every step. Dig a
teaspoon of dirt out of your yard; it has a billion inhabitants.
Life on Earth is a "life soup." If we go anywhere else in the
universe, the rest of Earth's life will go with us, sooner or
later, for better or for worse.
Sterling K. Webb
----- Original Message -----
From: "Pete Shugar at clearwire.net" <pshugar at clearwire.net>
To: <meteorite-list at meteoritecentral.com>
Sent: Friday, June 05, 2009 6:34 PM
Subject: [meteorite-list] On a serious note
>I propose an experiment......
> A small container containing a mixture of gasses
> that are the equal to a Mars atmosphere with
> a mixture of some material from a Mars meteorite.
> (Such material needs to come from the center of the meteorite to
> lessen the chances of contamination
> from earth origins).
> Lighting can be tailored to match Mars as well.
> If this were done in something like the Lunar Lab
> at NASA under very controlled conditions, would our Earth organisms
> I'm sure we could achieve an insulated container
> that could be turned into a small microcosm of Mars.
> This just might give an answer to the question of weather
> Earth "bugs" could survive on Mars.
> Pete IMCA 1733
> Meteorite-list mailing list
> Meteorite-list at meteoritecentral.com
Received on Sat 06 Jun 2009 01:56:28 AM PDT