Syntrichia caninervis the moss is a good candidate to live on Mars

2024/07/08 Elhuyar Zientzia Iturria: Elhuyar aldizkaria

The moss Syntrichia caninervis usually grows in deserts. Ed. Sheri Hagwood/USDA-NRCS/Public Domain

Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences have demonstrated that the moss Syntrichia caninervis is able to survive in the conditions of Mars and, therefore, is ideal for the colonization of this planet.

Syntrichia caninervis is a common species of moss that grows in extreme conditions in deserts such as Tibet, Antarctica or polar areas. So they decided to test whether it was growing in the conditions of Mars. In fact, previous research has shown that some spores of microorganisms, algae, lichens and plants have the ability to stay in extreme conditions on Mars, but not whole plants.

Thus, the experiments were carried out at the Simulation Center of Planetary Atmospheres of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the results have been published in the journal The Innovation. Among other things, it has been confirmed that this species can survive at very low freezing temperatures (-196°C), even at high levels of gamma radiation. It also seems that previous dehydration helps plants survive.



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