Questions tagged [life]

Questions regarding living organisms, searches for life, or human life in space.

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What Mars science research would be impeded by the presence of humans on Mars surface?

What Mars science research would be impeded by the presence of humans on Mars surface? The NASA InSight Mars Lander had seismometers sensitive enough to pick up vibrations caused by dust devils in the ...
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10 votes
3 answers
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Agriculture on an exoplanet

If we find a hypothetical Earth-like planet A with a rocky terrain that we could colonize, how would we go about planting the first plants, knowing that there is a deficient of nutrients and the ...
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3 votes
0 answers
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Do dust bunnies form normally in microgravity?

On Earth, dust, hair, and other assorted debris clump up into fuzzy lumps known as dust bunnies, which shelter parasites, set off allergies, clog air filters, and impede electronic-device cooling. In ...
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27 votes
2 answers
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Is there any demonstrated or even proposed technology that can sterilize a spacecraft with 100% certainty and yet leave it electronically functional?

In this answer to Why are there no robotic missions on Europa or Enceladus I wrote: Missions going through the ice and into the ocean are currently hypothetical and problematic. You need a lot of ...
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4 answers
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Why aren't there any robotic missions on Europa or Enceladus?

As per Space.com's Methane in plume of Saturn's moon Enceladus could be sign of alien life, studies suggest that Enceladus and Europa are the two most promising solar-system bodies on or in which to ...
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3 votes
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What are the challenges in terraforming a portion of Mars as opposed to the entire planet?

To be clear, I'm not talking about creating human-livable conditions, just the minimum required to support microbial life and possibly begin the process of creating an environment to support more ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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What will 10X Genomics want to test on the upcoming Axiom Space AX-2 mission?

CNN's Former NASA Astronaut Plans Private Trip Back to Space begins Record-holding NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson1 has spent more time in outer space than almost any other human on the planet, but even ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Why were Bion 6, Bion 7 and Bion 9 launched at the times they were? Was it related to thermal management for their living cargo?

An answer to Have any living organisms been intentionally launched into polar orbits? says (in its entirety currently): Yes. The highest inclination orbit with animals I could find are Bion 6, Bion 7 ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
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I think I have an idea of how to stop global warming, where can I share it? [closed]

It is quite simple space technology that will require a lot of funds and some physical and biological research, but I think it is realistic to create it because the idea is simple (build special space ...
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6 votes
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Has biological pressurization ever been used in spacecraft or in experimental applications?

I love kimchi and I love space exploration, so I was doing some research about whether and how fermented foods such as kimchi might have been consumed in space. For those who haven't tried it, kimchi ...
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Avoiding Martian contamination with Earth microbes

Unmanned probes can be sterilized, but when humans begin occupying Mars in large quantities, how can contamination of possible Martian microbes with Earth microbes be avoided?
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Could we intentionally contaminate another celestial body with life to start producing oxygen?

My question is simple, could we "nuke" a planet with life to create an atmosphere over time? I was seeing a documentary about Jupiter's moon, Europa, and how it could have hydro thermal ...
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5 votes
3 answers
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Life on Mars: How do we know it is not from Earth?

Firstly I would like to start the question with the knowledge that we have, that the most basic form of life we want and expect to find in our Solar System is the primitive kind, such as viruses or ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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Why were only three known-negative soil samples used to determine the Viking labeled release experiments' false positive rate?

According to Levin, Gilbert V., and Patricia Ann Straat. "The case for extant life on Mars and its possible detection by the Viking labeled release experiment." Astrobiology 16.10 (2016): ...
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13 votes
1 answer
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How certain are we that we have not accidentally sent life to other planets/moons?

Recently phosphine was discovered on Venus, and that led to some speculation that life exists on Venus because phosphine is a known biosignature on Earth. Considering that we've sent probes to Venus ...
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12 votes
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Phosphine, yes -- but where are the organic compounds on Venus?

There has been much speculation in recent news about the finding of phosphine on Venus, and what may be producing it. At the same time, when we look for clues of life elsewhere in the Solar System, we ...
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8 votes
1 answer
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If Elon Musk wanted to bring back some Martian soil, would US permission be required?

A scenario occurred to me recently where the Chinese space program decided to go all-in on Mars sample return, and their schedule was such that it would happen before the NASA/ESA mission was ...
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19 votes
1 answer
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Did Streptococcus mitis survive 950 days in the lunar environment?

The "Apollo 50th" account on Twitter tweets news and events day-to-day as they happened 50 years ago. Yesterday, the following information has been tweeted: The microorganism Streptococcus mitis ...
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4 votes
3 answers
192 views

Evidence of alien civilizations

When scientists talk about the probability of us being the only intelligent species in the universe, they always say that "we should see the galaxy filled with life". I never really understood how ...
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4 votes
3 answers
359 views

Challenges to building a human habitat on Titan (Saturn's Moon)?

I have been studying Titan for a while, reading documents from Cassini and Huygens (probes). On Titan there is an atmosphere, layer of clouds, seas of hydrocarbons (fuel and plastic for many centuries)...
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6 votes
2 answers
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Were there any noticeable immune system changes observed for people staying for long in space?

I have read this article about how difficult is to send ships to another possible habitable world. One aspect deals with the human bacterial companions which might be greatly affected by prolonged ...
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11 votes
1 answer
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Were any mammals born in space (or are there any confirmed planned missions to breed them)?

This answer claims rats had been born in space, but link with confirmation is broken. Some pregnant rats were in space, but those didn't give birth in space. This question has good answers regarding ...
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2 votes
0 answers
98 views

Have we looked in the right place for life on Mars?

I know it's (extremely) unlikely there is (& perhaps ever was) any life on Mars but having had a glance through the missions I can find I can't help thinking we've not really looked in the best ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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Why are Viking LR results not sufficient evidence of life on Mars?

Gil Levin, one of the scientists involved with the 1976 Viking mission to Mars, has claimed and continues to claim that there is life on Mars, based off the positive results of the Labeled Release (LR)...
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3 votes
1 answer
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What harm could perchlorate consuming bacteria do to potential native life forms on Mars?

Since the discovery of the toxic perchlorate being globally distributed in the martian soil the chances for microscopic life there are thought to be greatly reduced.. Even in the RSL's, once thought ...
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8 votes
1 answer
263 views

Can we grow potato in mars soil?

In the movie The Martian (Wikipedia, IMDB) the astronaut grew potatoes using "soil" from the surface of Mars. Does the surface of Mars have something equivalent to soil? If so, even after being ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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Can mushroom spores survive the vacuum and radiation of space?

From this source, it states that: Living spores have been found and collected in every level of earth’s atmosphere. Mushroom spores are electron-dense and can survive in the vacuum of space. ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Future of civilization in our solar system - AI or Human? [closed]

Which civilization type from Earth is most likely to exist one million years from now? 1) Human/Biological 2) Artificial Intelligence 3) Both 4) Neither Interested in any enlightening comments. ...
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6 votes
1 answer
200 views

Aspects of "true deep space environment" on Gateway not thoroughly explored by decades of habitation of nine space stations already?

The ABC News article President Trump prompts state of confusion over space policy with tweet covers POTUS' tweet and NASA director Bridenstine's clarification tweet a few hours later, as well as cites ...
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7 votes
3 answers
933 views

Can a flock of birds crash a rocket?

Has there ever been a situation when birds caused damage to a rocket? At what speed would birds be a problem? Could a rocket launch off water horizontally in stages?
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7 votes
1 answer
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Does exploration of Venus' atmosphere now require any planetary protection protocols?

This answer quotes Marc Rayman's August 21, 2018 Dawn Journal entry: Not all solar system bodies need such protection. The Moon, Mercury and Venus, for example, have not been of interest for ...
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2 votes
2 answers
299 views

Which are the reasons for wanting to have a colony in Mars first than in the Moon?

As far as I understand, (correct me if I'm wrong) one of the reasons for wanting a colony in Mars is for the possibility in the future of having a space port where rockets could leave the planet ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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Would there be value in taking tardigrades on a Lunar mission?

China's Chang'e 4 mission recently initiated biological experiments on our moon. There's value in performing those experiments, of course. Now, I'd be curious to see how tardigrades do in the long ...
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18 votes
1 answer
4k views

How did humans grow plants on the Moon despite the harsh conditions?

The Chang'e 4 lander contains seeds to grow plants on the Moon. The Moon has non-sustainable life conditions. Among those are the lack of water, atmosphere, the varying extreme temperatures, the low ...
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39 votes
3 answers
13k views

Why did the Chinese send flies and plants to the far side of the moon?

The Chinese space craft that just landed on the moon had a tube with a biosphere in with flies and plants. What are they expecting to learn? Didn't we already experiment that on the ISS? Source ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
613 views

Does SpaceX plan to enhance/change the genome of space colonists to speed up the adaptation process to the living conditions on Mars? [closed]

My understanding of biology is that all living organisms adapt to the environment around them. I would even say the environment shapes the very essence of an organism. Gravity alone is a huge factor ...
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1 vote
0 answers
253 views

What reasons are there (other than oxygen) Tardigrades can't survive Mars?

If Cyanobacteria or Lichens can survive on Mars could other small organisms like the Tardigrade then survive & flourish among them? Due to the thicker atmosphere to be found the bottom of the ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Is Titan still the best bet for Extra-Terrestrial life?

I remember reading - probably decades ago - that Titan would be the most likely body within out Solar System to contain life. If memory serves, this was due to methane in the atmosphere and what were ...
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4 votes
3 answers
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What is the maximum atmospheric pressure a human can tolerate? [duplicate]

How much pressure can the human body tolerate before living is impossible (e.g. skin begins to rupture, etc.)?
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-1 votes
2 answers
204 views

How to waterproof a rover?

What changes would be needed to a late model rover to enable it to function under water? What would prevent a rover from functioning under water as is? related: https://astronomy.stackexchange.com/...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Is microgravity "known to" increase bacteria's tendency to acquire foreign genetic material and become metal & antibiotic-resistant?

The RT article Mutant superbugs menace future space station expeditions – NASA ends with: Microgravity is known to increase a bacterium's tendency to acquire foreign genetic material and to become ...
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8 votes
1 answer
670 views

Can centrifugal force actually overcome the health problems of microgravity?

Microgravity has a negative health effect which exercises cannot completely remedy. Rotation of spacecraft and the resulting centrifugal force have been suggested as a source of pseudo-gravity. But ...
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11 votes
1 answer
506 views

Have there been experiments in space to determine how plants grow without any gravitational or light cues for direction?

I just read a question on the gardening stack site about why plants grow up, to which one of the answers has mentioned experiments on the ISS, and which stated: experiments on the ISS have shown ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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NASA's Curiosity Rover - Carbon Isotope Ratio of Methane?

The following is taken from Sinha & Rral , 2015: "NASA's Curiosity rover has the capability to search for organic compounds and to identify the chemical and isotopic composition of the Martian ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Methane and the Search for Life on Mars

I was wondering, if we measured the carbon isotopic ratio of methane on Mars and found that it was very negative (i.e. it contained more carbon-12 than carbon-13), would this provide definitive proof ...
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15 votes
1 answer
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Have water bears ever been studied on the ISS or in Space?

I'm sure a lot of people are familiar with the ever resilient tardigrades. Have we ever done studies to see how they would fair in a space environment or any other neat studies, perhaps aboard the ISS?...
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5 votes
1 answer
507 views

Is there any life from Earth that can live on Mars?

Does Mars have any environment in which a plant, virus or otherwise would be capable of living on Mars without an artificial environment? Is there anything that can live below the Armstrong Limit on ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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Space exploration designs based in biology?

I was reading about how many inventions are spurred by biological structures that exist in nature. A few of which include: Velcro: from burr cacti (and it is used in space, sometimes to scratch noses!...
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21 votes
1 answer
3k views

Are there free insects in the ISS?

Are there free insects, living and breeding in the ISS, not part of an experiment? I am not asking about an occasional escaped single fruit fly, Nor am I asking about insects contained in a enclosure ...
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3 votes
1 answer
111 views

How possible is it to have a habitable planet with no moon like Earth has?

This article describes how Earth's Moon helps Earth's core remain liquid, thus maintaining our magnetic field. The magnetic field, in turn, protects life on Earth from radiation. To what extent is it ...
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