Life On Mars: Here's Why Humans Might Not Be Able To Inhabit Red Planet
Recently, there have been several updates on efforts to make Mars another Earth - with Elon Musk's SpaceX among those who want to make the Red Planet livable to humans. But a recent study seems to prove otherwise.
Per CNN, Mars is not an ideal planet to live in because of the extreme cold, coupled with blistering radiation, and its thin carbon dioxide atmosphere. Although those factors has not stopped humans from still trying and looking for any sign of life on Mars - and ultimately attempting to live there one day.
Previously, the Red Planet was also a watery one like Earth. With oceans, seas and rushing river valleys, these initiated microbial life in the cold planet. This got scientists to look into that further.
Life On Mars: Impossible Due To Toxic Substances
Per a new study published in "Scientific Reports", Martian soil itself may be toxic to bacteria. Whether there were microorganisms that could have lived before, they would have been poisoned subsequently.
Viking 1 and 2 landed on Mars in 1976 and were able to detect what seemed to be perchlorates in the Red Planet's soil. After that, three spacecraft, including the Curiosity rover (which is still exploring Mars) affirmed the finding. So whar are perchlorates? They are a highly oxidized form of chlorine, which serve as an energy source for bacteria.
Looking Into How Habitable Planet Mars Is
The detection of perchlorates on the surface of Mars raised concern among researchers at the University of Edinburgh. In turn, they decided to delve deeper on its effect on Bacillus subtilis - a common bacteria often found on spacecrafts (via Daily Mail).
Magnesium perchlorate was placed under short-wave UV radiation, to simulate the same conditions on the surface of Mars. The scientists revealed that under these conditions, the magnesium perchlorate became bacteriocidal - killing all bacteria. The researchers also said that two other components on the Martian surface (iron oxides and hydrogen peroxide) may act alongside the perchlorates resulting in a 10 times increase in bacteria death.
Are you still hoping that life on Mars would still be possible for humans? Stay tuned for more updates.