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The simulated mission in the Chilean desert shows how Rover detected the intense Mars

NASA vehicle mission in the Martian-like Atacama desert.
Image: Stephen Pointing

When the Desert Atacama was launched during the desert, researchers have demonstrated that using a self-propelled bulldozer can be used to find a devastating surface. The discovery of a resistant microorganism made it possible to underline the same types of creatures that could penetrate the earth under the earthquake.

A new study published by Microbiology Frontiers describes the NASA mission mission mission in the Chilean Atacama Desert to mirror Mars's future mission. An experimental vehicle and drill designed by the Ford Carnegie Mellon Institute has successfully rescued micro-organisms financed by NASA, specifically resistant to hard bacteria and salt. The analysis justified Mars's life-hunt mission, but the experiment was not without challenge and without limits. According to recent research, even if there is a living in Mars, a bit of technological innovation demands a bit of cash and luck.

Million years ago, Mars had a mild climate and liquid water on its surface, with the potential of life emerging. Life is no longer existent today. Deadly radiation levels bathe Red Planet, and the tortured land has traces of liquid water. During the summer of Martian, the temperature of the equator allows it to reach a degree of Fahrenheit (20 degrees centigrade) of 68 degrees, but it drops at night at cold temperatures of -148 degrees F (-100 degrees C).

The use of the shuttering robot drill in the Atacama desert.
Image: Stephen Pointing

The conditions under the cover are another story, according to Stephen Pointing, principal researcher at the Yale-NUS College in Singapore. Underneath the surface, rocks and sediments are protected from extreme conditions offering a potential habitat of living.

As described in man, the Earth's witness is not as large as Mars's surface, but it offers a decent analogy under the Atacama Desert in Chile.

"Some earthquake earthquakes in the Martian Sea are in the desert of Atacama," Pointing said. "In the desert there is little water intake and the soil is very nutrient-savvy, saline, and chemically, the Marsen soils are different ways to prepare for future missions in the future, we use places like Atacama desert to face life and face new technologies in life. give it to you ".

To make an experiment, Pointing and its colleagues extended an autonomous four-wheeled vehicle with a robotic drill, and retrieved a sediment sample of 80 cm (31 inches) depth. Researchers have compared samples collected from the passenger to samples collected by hand. Then, using the DNA sequencing, Pointing and its colleagues were similar to the sediments of recovered bacterial life methods, and the vehicle technique was successful.

That said, bacteria were not evenly distributed throughout the desert, and apparently random errors. This means "limited availability of water, poor food and geochemical soil," Pointing said, looking for Martha's life, "could be one of the greatest finds ever" -a-haystack & # 39; problem. "

However, the first study is that the microorganisms distribute them into specific surface areas below the Atacama desert.

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"She accepts a community and everywhere in the field of photography Chloroflexi and they have been widely deployed before, "said Gizmodo." It's just below the surface to make it interesting. As we have seen, with more depth, we have seen that the bacterial communities have predominated bacteria that grow in very salty and alkaline soils. At the same time, only a small bacterium that metabolized methane as a food source substituted at a depth of less than 80 cm. "

Surprisingly, recent research shows that the Atacama infrastructure can be very specialized in micro, so that Martian salty will survive in the soil. In addition, Mars has methane in addition to being a methane, and is known to have a surface in the Martian surface under the presence of methanol-gobbling microorganisms, according to the new paper. The next important point is to find out how Pointing and its team can survive the underground microbes of Atacama. To do this, they look at the possible strategies used by bacteria to survive in the long term with no water and the exposure of very young states. In addition, the team wants to return to the Atacama desert to drill 2 meters (6 feet).

When all this is said, it's time for reality checks.

The researchers have used the Earth to detect life, which is not very difficult, even if the environment is in the desert. Life has flourished for millions of years, and it is ubiquitous, even though thousands of rocks emerge. Yes, a new investigation was made in a place in Mars, but it is still Mars. On the other hand, new research presents a scientific justification about the future of the planet's missionary nature, but this is just another speculation that Marsen survives.

Another important milestone in the new study is that the sediment samples were tested in the laboratory and not the equipment on the vehicle. As stated by himself, he will present a major obstacle to the planning of Mars missions.

"A Martian vehicle is a challenge in identifying signs of life signals," he said. "The DNA sequencing method used is very good here, but it is now very complex for Mars to be reliably used, so that the indirect determination of molecules made up of live cells is closer to the missions that will occur in the near future."

In other words, a future vehicle would be sensible to look for traces of the biosignatures-biological life, unknown methane-like molecules, accumulated microbes (stromatolites) and traces of fossil, fats, and steroids, combined with methane. If something were to be detected, "then we should require some new experimental techniques to test that bacteria were alive and could be active metabolism," Pointing said.

In the end, and perhaps even more disconcerting, it's a cost of sending this mission to Mars. NASA and ESA may send it to rovers in the coming years, but it is not clear that an agency has a technological capability or funds to be able to translate Martian rock and soil samples to the ground. As reported by SpaceNews this week, NASA expects no Mars sample for 2020, especially for expenses.

The admission admitted that the return mission was expensive, spending hundreds millions of dollars.

"However, the investigation will help us tackle one of the biggest questions that will help us," he said. "Is Earth the only planet that accepts life?"

[Frontiers in Microbiology]

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