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Mars One Released Their Qualifications For Their Astronauts

Posted by: spacechick - Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:16 am
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Mars One Released Their Qualifications For Their Astronauts 
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Post Re: Mars One Released Their Qualifications For Their Astronauts   Posted on: Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:45 pm
SANEAlex wrote:
SuperShuki wrote:
I don't think it would be too hard to start the beginning of terraforming Mars. There are many bacteria who can survive in that environment, and then you just go up the food chain. You don't have to go too far up either - there are even extremeophile insects and such things. And I've heard that ants are full of protien (yum!).


I think you need to watch some more 1950's scfi after finding Mars clear of high level life that might harm us (tho we still need to listen to Herbert's warning about the harm that bacteria and viruses can cause when not in their native environment). You want to seed the planet with an insect that already out numbers us numerically and iirc in biomass down here. In a high radiation environment likely to cause rapid mutation on a planet littered with both functioning and broken high tech robots. What could possible go wrong. :?: Did you get your mad scientist badge from a box of corn flakes :?: :wink: :twisted:



Of course not. It was in my Cheerios.

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Post Re: Mars One Released Their Qualifications For Their Astronauts   Posted on: Wed Apr 10, 2013 5:50 pm
SuperShuki wrote:
I don't think it would be too hard to start the beginning of terraforming Mars. There are many bacteria who can survive in that environment...


Um... no. They might be able to survive as dormant spores, but they aren't going to be "alive" in any sense of the word in even the best conditions on Mars (equatorial lowlands). Nothing with terrestrial physiology will be viable there.


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Post Re: Mars One Released Their Qualifications For Their Astronauts   Posted on: Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:46 pm
JamesG wrote:
SuperShuki wrote:
I don't think it would be too hard to start the beginning of terraforming Mars. There are many bacteria who can survive in that environment...


Um... no. They might be able to survive as dormant spores, but they aren't going to be "alive" in any sense of the word in even the best conditions on Mars (equatorial lowlands). Nothing with terrestrial physiology will be viable there.


Well, you can genetically engineer them to survive.

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Post Re: Mars One Released Their Qualifications For Their Astronauts   Posted on: Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:44 am
Hey, not so fast JamesG...
BBC: Bacteria Survive Three Years on Moon
Quote:
Bacteria from a human sneeze survived for 33 months on the Moon... the dormant bacteria were discovered alive.
(Okay, to be fair, JamesG did say they might survive as dormant spores - touché)

But I don't think we can rule out the possibility that some microbes from earth could survive and carry on biological activity on Mars. Here's at least one article that suggests it might be possible:
Earth Bacteria Can Survive And Grow In Extremely Hostile, Mars-Like Conditions
Quote:
The team grew bacterial colonies in dishes and then turned down the heat, the pressure and the oxygen. Hyperbaric chambers reduced atmospheric pressure down to just 7 millibar, with many strains perishing as the conditions worsened. (Earth atmospheric pressure is about 1,000 mbar.) S. liquefaciens was able to survive at 7 mbar, freezing temperatures, low oxygen and increased carbon dioxide--just like the conditions on Mars.
Now, throw in SuperShuki's genetic engineering to give them a little extra edge (not to mention some chlorophyll) and before you know it you've got 35 billion acres of prime Martian real estate waiting to be developed.

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Post Re: Mars One Released Their Qualifications For Their Astronauts   Posted on: Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:26 am
I am actually in favor of large caverns, tunnel systems, and biodomes. Unless you can create and maintain a magnetosphere around the planet to stop the atmosphere you create from blowing away in the solar wind. Still the energy requirements might be too insane to bother with. Just keep your atmosphere under a solid shell and it should be fine.

There probably is no need to generate and upkeep an atmosphere for the whole planet unless you plan to house billions of people there or plan to create a whole new biosphere covering the whole planet. And even then it might be more efficient to stick to domes and underground structures /technobiosphere :P/. Also with less atmosphere, there is less drag to deal with while getting around over long distances.

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Post Re: Mars One Released Their Qualifications For Their Astronauts   Posted on: Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:57 pm
Yup.


FutureNow wrote:
Hey, not so fast JamesG...


Quote:
The team grew bacterial colonies in dishes and then turned down the heat, the pressure and the oxygen. Hyperbaric chambers reduced atmospheric pressure down to just 7 millibar, with many strains perishing as the conditions worsened. (Earth atmospheric pressure is about 1,000 mbar.) S. liquefaciens was able to survive at 7 mbar, freezing temperatures, low oxygen and increased carbon dioxide--just like the conditions on Mars.


Yeah, but did they bathe them in strong ultraviolet and other radiation and feed them a toxic diet of salts and metalhydrides? The deck is very stacked against any kind of Earth life on Mars.


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Post Re: Mars One Released Their Qualifications For Their Astronauts   Posted on: Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:49 pm
So only the bacteria in the niches and crannies of Mars will survive (at least at first). So what? Bacteria are very good at adapting to different conditions, since since they trade pieces of RNA all the time.

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Post Re: Mars One Released Their Qualifications For Their Astronauts   Posted on: Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:03 pm
What is the point? So what if with a lot of genetic help you can get a few bacteria to hold onto a meager existence on Mars? They are not going to thrive and they are not going to change any of its conditions.


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Post Re: Mars One Released Their Qualifications For Their Astronauts   Posted on: Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:40 pm
box wrote:
I am actually in favor of large caverns, tunnel systems, and biodomes. Unless you can create and maintain a magnetosphere around the planet to stop the atmosphere you create from blowing away in the solar wind. Still the energy requirements might be too insane to bother with...

Yes, but that's just for the first few hundred generations - you gotta start thinking long-term. :wink:

Okay, in all seriousness the extraordinary technological hurdles and prohibitive costs (not to mention the timescale) of terraforming would probably make it impractical in any generation, but much of the research (like the bacterial research mentioned above) is valuable regardless. Who knows what uses future generations may find for microbes that can survive the brutal conditions of Mars and other worlds? And obviously the study of terrestrial extremophiles can help scientists narrow the search for their alien counterparts (assuming there are any), as well as adding to our understanding of life on Earth.

When we finally get off our collective butts and colonize the solar system, we'll be glad for the time and resources spent by previous generations on virtually all of these ideas. I'm not suggesting we should pour billions of public dollars and countless hours of research into every idea that comes along, but when we're weighing the costs and benefits it's good to consider the broadest possible picture.

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Post Re: Mars One Released Their Qualifications For Their Astronauts   Posted on: Sat Apr 13, 2013 1:52 pm
Evolution is quite a successful search algorithm, but it can only search the space of physically possible organisms. Have you ever wondered why these hospital superbugs are hospital superbugs? If they're so super, why don't they escape out into the wild and kill everyone?

The answer is simple: the adaptations that make them antibiotics-resistant are costly in terms of the metabolic energy required to sustain them, making these versions of the bacteria much less competitive in places where there isn't a large amount of antibiotics use. Competitors that spend their energy on growth instead will beat them handily.

It's the same thing with those extremophiles, they are very heavily optimised for an extreme environment, at the cost of everything else. Put them in a hostile environment and they manage to scrape by, simply because there is no competition. Put them in an even more hostile environment, and they'll die all the same. Put them in a slightly less hostile environment, and they'll get outcompeted very quickly. Even if we manage to find or make something that will survive on Mars, it'll probably only survive just barely, with not a lot of energy left over to do anything to terraform the planet...

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Post Re: Mars One Released Their Qualifications For Their Astronauts   Posted on: Sat Apr 13, 2013 7:23 pm
Tovarich Laurens,

I think you are underestimating the power of bacteria (and life, in general) to adapt. The hospital bacteria may not do so well outside a hospital, but Mars bacteria can certainly adapt to Mars. No one is expecting them to come back to Earth and survive here. Second of all, bacteria have a nasty habit of multiplying like, um, bacteria. So on Mars, where there are no competitors, all we would have to do is drop some genetically altered bacteria on Mars, and wait a few years, and the place will be swarming with the things!

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Post Re: Mars One Released Their Qualifications For Their Astronauts   Posted on: Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:45 am
And I think you are vastly underestimating just how inhospitable Mars is.

Mars can not support "Life As We Know It" that uses the biochemical machinery that gets by on Earth, even in extremophiles. It won't happen. Mars is a "failed world" that is only slightly more fit for life than the Moon.


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Post Re: Mars One Released Their Qualifications For Their Astronauts   Posted on: Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:17 am
JamesG wrote:
And I think you are vastly underestimating just how inhospitable Mars is.

Mars can not support "Life As We Know It" that uses the biochemical machinery that gets by on Earth, even in extremophiles. It won't happen. Mars is a "failed world" that is only slightly more fit for life than the Moon.


Maybe. But what about this?
[url]
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/sc ... chor179666
[/url]

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Post Re: Mars One Released Their Qualifications For Their Astronauts   Posted on: Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:48 am
Notice that they do not claim that a single organism can survive all of the hostile conditions.


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Post Re: Mars One Released Their Qualifications For Their Astronauts   Posted on: Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:56 am
Well, I sent an email to a research biologist that I know. I'll see what she says. In any case, my point is that bacteria can adapt to almost anything, not that there are any bacteria at present that could thrive on Mars. As long as there is a foothold, the bacteria could change. But maybe I'm wrong.

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