(ORDO NEWS) — Mars has been bringing more and more surprises lately. Either they will find water there, or they will find dried-up lakes, and the possibility that one day it will be possible to live there seems more and more real – but it is worth dampening the optimism somewhat.
Mars is an unfriendly planet. It is very cold there, there is almost no liquid water, and ultraviolet is constantly bombarding the surface of the planet. She also has a lot of perchlorates in her soil.
Perchlorates are chemicals often used in rocket fuel, but many studies have shown that they are found in large quantities right in the Martian soil. In 2017, researchers from the University of Edinburgh found that when exposed to ultraviolet light, perchlorates kill bacteria twice as effectively as UV light alone.
But that’s not the worst. There is still a lot of hydrogen peroxide and iron oxide in the Martian soil. When they are combined with perchlorates and irradiated with ultraviolet light, they kill bacteria already 11 times more effectively.
This is very bad news for any potential life on Mars, since all terrestrial bacteria could die there, and the prospects for possible Martian ones are also not bright.
But there is hope for them. This “Martian cocktail” needs ultraviolet light to activate, which means that bacteria at a depth, in the soil itself, can survive.
This should find out the new Martian rover ExoMars, which the European Space Agency is going to launch in 2022. He is equipped with a drill and may be able to shed light on the bacterial question. Although, taking into account the new data, it is not worth shedding light on him.
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