Monday, March 21, 2016

Grow your own Microbes

IS there Life on Mars?

Well Nasa`s rovers, orbiters and various pokey things have found underground ice and water, plus soil and rocks that can only have formed in lakes or rivers. (So creatures with watery leanings might be OK up there). 

And Mars once had a magnetic field to protect it from the sun`s radiation… rather like the Earth today. (Encouraging for combustible specimens).

So space scientists Who Know reckon that around the time Mars formed, it was highly suitable for life. 

That was (of course!) 4.6  billion years ago, and these days there doesn`t seem to be anything alive up there - at least, not on the surface... but what if it`s all happening underground?

To answer this Very question, the European Space Agency has just launched a probe headed for Mars, to be followed in two years by a robotic rover able to drill 7ft into the surface. 

For, Something up there is continuing to produce methane - what could it be? 

Actually, they think it`s Microbes… 

How do Martian microbes behave when visited - will scientists find them wrapped round the end of the drill, waving? (Or Snarling).

Some experts are concerned about Bringing Back such finds (I know I am) – unknown organisms could wreak Absolute Havoc with Earthly flora and specially fauna - we`ve all seen the films…

Nevertheless ESA boldly sent some of their own microbes out into space last August 2015 (disguised as health food) to help in the search.

Kombucha is a fizzy and Very Healthy Fermented Tea bursting with bacteria and yeasts, and some of it is now clinging to the outside of the International Space Station

How will it survive unprotected in space, an exceeding-cold vacuum of cosmic radiation and unfiltered sunlight? 

Can it even survive? Finding out will help assess the survival abilities of microorganisms on Mars - highly relevant in the Search for Life.

(Those more interested in how Kombucha battles against nasty oxidants and infections of the Bacterial kind should know that Starter Kits are available).

In Conclusion, surely there must be Life of some ilk on other planets - how could we possibly be the only one Chosen

(Though I don`t-want-them-to-visit-yet thank you)!

Not since...

The Warminster Thing!!

(Don`t Have Nightmares)!