Surface of Mars 'more uninhabitable' than previously thought

Why Life on Mars May Be Impossible

These findings were initially good news for researchers looking for extraterrestrial life, as they suggested that some forms of life could survive in Martian analogue conditions.

Are you still hoping that life on Mars would still be possible for humans?

We've suspected that Mars was home to perchlorates since the Viking Lander missions four decades ago; the discovery was confirmed by more recent rovers.

Chris McKay, a planetary scientist at Nasa Ames Research Center in California, said the study was "a big step forward" in understanding the ramifications of finding high levels of perchlorate on Mars. "But the bad news is that this means we have to dig to quite some depth to reach a biological record of early life that is not completely destroyed by the reactive UV-activated perchlorates". Martian soil is laced with perchlorates, an ion composed of one chlorine and four oxygen atoms, and which binds to a number of different elements to form various compounds.


Researchers at the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom investigated the behaviour of chemical compounds, called perchlorates, which are found on the surface of Mars. When these chemicals are combined with the perchlorates and blasted with UV light, they kill bacteria 11 times faster than UV light alone.

Per CNN, Mars is not an ideal planet to live in because of the extreme cold, coupled with blistering radiation, and its thin carbon dioxide atmosphere. Other perchlorates found on Mars had a similar bactericidal effect. If Mars is so hostile to bacteria that they can't even make it a minute on the surface, our fears of contamination could be pretty much resolved. In fact, they died within 30 seconds.

M - Chances that life exists on the surface of Mars are dwindling, according to a report released Thursday, which shows that the planet is coated with toxic chemicals that can wipe out living organisms, rendering it "more uninhabitable than previously thought". The Scottish team of researchers also suggest that two other components of the Martian surface, iron oxides and hydrogen peroxide, work with the perchlorates to further increase the toxicity. If life could thrive in perchlorate-rich brines, then aliens might be thriving in the damp patches on Mars. While we should continue to take care when sending anything into outer space, any microscopic Earth-based life that hitches a ride to Mars will likely be killed by Mars' toxic conditions.

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