Living on Mars

1989/01/01 Elhuyar Zientzia Iturria: Elhuyar aldizkaria

Biologist Robert Haynes has stated that the planet Martitz, thanks to the effort of the earthlings, can know life.

The landscape is drier than the deserts of the Earth, the average temperature is -40°C and 98% of the atmosphere is carbon dioxide. It is the image of Mars and does not seem to be the right place to develop the life we know. But thanks to the effort of the earthlings this planet can know life. University of Toronto biologist Robert Haynes thinks so at least.

To achieve this, part of the technology already exists in the field of genetic engineering. If geneticists are able to change the capacities of living organisms, they can change microorganisms until they are able to live on Mars. A cold-resistant bacterium, which uses carbon dioxide for its basic metabolism and does not require much moisture, should be produced (the proportion of water vapor in Martitz's atmosphere is 0.03%).

Letting these bacteria sow on Mars and do their job, the state of the red planet would change a lot. It is believed that this type of bacteria would radically change the situation of Mars in a few generations. The rate of oxygen, temperature and proportion of water vapor would increase and humans should not wear heavy garments that they would use today to move across the surface of Mars. Light garments would suffice.

However, the problem is not so straightforward and before doing something like that, deep and accurate studies are absolutely necessary.

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