Show Details

Surviving Mars

May 24, 2006

Where should scientists look for life on Mars?

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):
Making Mars on Earth. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Could anything survive the extreme conditions of Mars? That’s the question posed by astrobiologist Dirk Schulze-Makuch of Washington State University. He and a student took two hardy microbes from Earth and subjected them to low pressure, low temperature, and UV radiation. Amazingly, they were able to survive these Mars-like conditions when buried in soil or floating in water. And, Schulze explains, Martian organisms would be much better adapted to live on Mars than these microbes.

DIRK SCHULZE-MAKUCH (Washington State University):
So if you can show that some organisms on Earth can survive these conditions, you can assume that any Martian organism is much better at doing that.

HIRSHON:
These results suggest that future missions to Mars should drill deep underground to look for life. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.