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SCI/TECH: Lichens survive after 15 days exposed in space

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posted on Nov, 11 2005 @ 04:46 PM
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After being exposed to the vacuum of space in near Earth orbit for 15 days, the lichens were returned to Earth where it was discovered that they were in the same condition as they were before their little "space walk".

The lichens went dormant in a sort of hibernation while they were in space. They also have a mineral coating that shields them from the Sun's UV rays. They survived extreme temperature changes, several times a day, over their 15 day stay in space.

 



www.newscientistspace.com
Lichens can survive unprotected in the harsh conditions of space, a European Space Agency experiment discovers.

The organisms are a composite of algae and fungi. They are commonly found on the surface of rocks on Earth and can survive in extreme conditions such as high mountains latitudes. Lichens are the most complex form of life now known to have survived prolonged exposure to space.




Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


This is an interesting development in space life science. I know that some bacteria can also survive the harsh conditions of space. This brings to mind the old theory of the existence of Martians which states that the Martians still exist, and they are us!
I wonder how long these life forms could survive, attached to a rock ejected from the earth during a meteor strike?
Just think...earthlings may have already colonized parts of the solar system....
Lichens...Earth's hearty space explorers...lol

This is my first News submission...so don't hurt me!


[edit on 11-11-2005 by BomSquad]

[edit on 11-11-2005 by BomSquad]




posted on Nov, 11 2005 @ 05:23 PM
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Wow that is amazing. Good find by the way


It brings endless possibilities from this knowledge. The research into how they accomplish this feat will have extraordinary ramifications upon science. This is good news and something to keep them busy for quite a while.



posted on Nov, 11 2005 @ 07:23 PM
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Given the notion that science fiction often predicts (or at least affects) the future of real science, and that I have seen/read a few SciFi movies/novels that mention bio/organic space suits, I actually wonder if this might not actually be the first step to developing such technologies.

This now begs the question: how would they stand up to re-entry into a planetary atmosphere. We all know the extreme heat that can be generated during re-entry. I'd also be quite interested in seeing how they would fare in deep space, where the temperatures aren't quite as amicable as the -20C to +20C mentioned in the article regarding Earth Orbit (you know, where temperatures are closer to absolute zero).

Given these questions that still go unanswered, it's hard to say whether or not this is an important discovery, though it is still quite an interesting one.

Great find! I'll have to keep tabs on further developments.

[edit on 11-11-2005 by obsidian468]



posted on Nov, 11 2005 @ 09:39 PM
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That's pretty cool. Here's another amazing creature that I think you'll be interested in.

BEARS OF THE MOSS - Nature's Best Survivalist!!
www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on Nov, 11 2005 @ 09:47 PM
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This is great news, the fact that this organism can survive space in such a way doesnt make it seem like such a difficult thing to conquer. Although it will take time.


Originally posted by BomSquad
I wonder how long these life forms could survive, attached to a rock ejected from the earth during a meteor strike?



Scientists have done lab tests to see if this is possible and it is, they recreated the effects of an asteroid impacting and seeing if it could be ejected/ or survived and the results were good
.

[edit on 11-11-2005 by Vorta]



posted on Nov, 12 2005 @ 08:05 AM
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What about terraforming?
If these little guys can survive in space then they could survive on mars's surface as well correct?
Anyone seen Red Planet?

_______Earth______Mars
O2_____0.20_______10-7
Ar_____0.01________2 x 10-4
CO2____0.0003_____0.009
H2O__~ 0.02______~10-6
Mars Atmosphere Data:
zebu.uoregon.edu...

30 times as much CO2 there as there is on Earth
0.0000005 times as much O2 as on Earth

So if you were to get some of there little buggers to Mars and cover the surface with em, or for that matter utilize them as part of an oxygen scrubber, we could be living on mars within half a century!

Interestingy, the movie is based around 2050...
Hollywood does it again!



posted on Nov, 12 2005 @ 08:55 AM
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Forgive me because I'm really a moron when it comes to science and space exploration. But this is my question- would it be possible to cross-breed this "moss" plants and/or vegetables to give them the properties that enable them to survive in space, and ultimately on other planets like Mars? If it's possible I think it would aid tremendously in terrafarming Mars and allowing those who eventually live there to be self-reliant. Thanks to anyone who can answer this for me!



posted on Nov, 12 2005 @ 10:34 AM
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While I am all for exploits in space, you have to wonder. With the radioactive properties of space, isn't it possible, that some sort of ecological mutagen may have occurred with the structure of the lichen?
I know it may be a bit far fetched, but what if something else decided to hitch a ride with the lichen? After all there was the space mold that could eat though metal and wire, and the lichen was exposed for 15 days....



posted on Nov, 12 2005 @ 01:01 PM
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This is Great,im thinkin about how lichens could be incorporated into next gen space suits,or even into some kind of nano skin implants,this stuff could be the key to our species survival....

Great story,voted up :]



posted on Nov, 13 2005 @ 11:42 AM
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That's really fascinating. I knew they were tough, but to be able to withstand that much is really just wild.

jones and I are on the same wavelength - I loved that movie.
These babies can really withstand a lot, and, especially given that UV protection, we should really be able to utilize them to a really far extent in the future of our space exploration.



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