Questions tagged [life]

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

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2
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1answer
79 views

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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0answers
31 views

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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1answer
100 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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3answers
217 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?
6
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1answer
107 views

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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1answer
119 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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0answers
70 views

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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1answer
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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4answers
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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2answers
599 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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135 views

Is there any reason other than lack of 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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1answer
148 views

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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3answers
798 views

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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1answer
125 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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1answer
67 views

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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1answer
276 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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1answer
348 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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84 views

Is it possible to restart life Mars? [duplicate]

I have learnt that the reason for no life existing on Mars was due to absence of a magnetic field strong enough to ward off incoming solar radiation. We could just instate an artificial one if that ...
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1answer
107 views

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 ...
4
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1answer
81 views

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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1answer
3k views

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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1answer
288 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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0answers
81 views

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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1answer
1k 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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1answer
84 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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2answers
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Why is Curiosity not heading for Peace Vallis?

For over 5 years Curiosity has been successfully searching for many signs that water was once present at Gale crater. Its geology is notable for containing both clays and sulfate minerals that may ...
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1answer
73 views

How (if possible) can we assess the isotope variations on martian soils?

I'm personally interested in the biological implications of different isotope variations on biology. This can be tested on earth by separating them and just observing, but determining the isotope ...
4
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1answer
204 views

Could a molecular cloud be breathable?

Molecular clouds in deep space are fascinating objects. Various organic molecules have been found there (including alcohol, heh heh). So if one of these clouds contained about 20% of oxygen, would it ...
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1answer
136 views

What percent of star systems has planets that could potentially support life?

I wonder if there are any calculations that estimate the percentage of star systems with planets that potentially can support life?
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0answers
681 views

Could there be liquid hydrogen oceans on the surfaces of worlds (including frozen gas giants) in the distant Kuiper belt or Oort cloud?

This is something I'm wondering for a science book I'm writing (not science fiction) where I cover the various forms of life that could exist especially in our solar system - such as life on Mars of ...
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1answer
332 views

Who gets to represent Earth in case of an Alien meeting? [closed]

Let's assume the aliens that come to visit our planet are friendly and somewhat like humans. Who will be the one to tell them about our habits and technology? Very curious if there are any laws that ...
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1answer
131 views

Are there any procedures against biohazard containment failure on ISS?

This question might be more of a sci-fi question, so forgive me. It was inspired on behalf of the movie Life (2017) where the crew aboard the ISS catch a soil sample from Mars, and discover that it ...
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0answers
71 views

Mars drill depth to discover Life

Curiosity has shown that Mars used to have persistent liquid water on the surface. (~3+ billion years ago.) IF life was around at that time, at what depth would we expect to find it? Without plate ...
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1answer
187 views

Smallest planet where human type life could evolve and survive?

Most exoplanets making the news are larger than Earth. I wonder about the smaller worlds, how small is too small? Reword to keep the question narrow enough to be answerable. When the Earth was ...
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3answers
1k views

Could a spacecraft be made out of wood?

Could a spacecraft use organic materials, like wood or bone or shell or other tissues, as an interface to the vacuum and radiation of space? Would wood outgas and crack up in space? I wonder if life ...
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1answer
1k views

Is child birth possible in lower gravity?

We are probably going to create colonies on Mars in few decades or centuries, so which steps have been taken by NASA or other space agencies to find out if child birth is possible in a lower gravity ...
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1answer
1k views

Melanized fungi on the ISS - are they 'enjoying' the elevated radiation levels there?

The end of this excellent answer lead me to Wikipedia which linked to The blacker the better… especially in Chernobyl and Chernobyl Fungus Feeds On Radiation. One passage in 'blacker the better' ...
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1answer
574 views

Could 'life' exist on other planets without water - as electrical impulses, for example?

Like many laymen I always wonder why scientists only ever talk about life on other planets - and get excited by the prospect - when they find planets that may have water. Has anyone suggested that ...
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3answers
428 views

Is there likely to be life in Venus's upper atmosphere?

From what I understand, Venus's upper atmosphere is much more habitable than its surface, with a temperature and pressure that humans could tolerate. However, lack of oxygen and the presence of ...
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1answer
412 views

Can (human) gas propel someone in a contained space station?

I am NOT trying to be lewd, but I had a student ask this. Yes, she may have been tongue-in-cheek, but I promised to answer her. And yes, I am trying to keep this as practical as possible. If and ...
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1answer
246 views

How long can an astronaut stay in space and later have children?

While reading about the effects of microgravity on reproduction I was thinking about all the other aspects of space flight and how they may decrease fertility in both men or women (such as changes in ...
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1answer
3k views

Would you age slower on mars?

As far as I know, time dilation has little effect on Mars compared to Earth, and I'm not asking with that in mind. I'm rather asking if the low surface gravity (38% of Earth's) could allow humans to ...
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6answers
467 views

Can a launch of a rocket or ship from Earth go so badly that it damages the Solar System?

Is it possible for a launch of a space object originating from Earth to go so badly that it would cause permanent damage to the Solar System or even destroy it? Example: a spaceship going off ...
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2answers
684 views

What happens to a body, that has been exposed to vacuum, once brought back onboard?

You are on a ship in the cold vacuum of space. You find a body of an astronaut exposed to vacuum (for this instance just assume human, but you never know). The body was essentially freeze dried and ...
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1answer
199 views

I'm going to invade Europa, any international interferences that could stop me?

So I have some payload which is going to be sent to Jupiter's moon Europa. While my contract partner who is shipping my payload didn't specify strictly enough what the expected achievements of our ...
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1answer
1k views

Largest inhabitable volume in space

When you look at space ships, capsules and stations, one thing that is lacking in space is… space. As in: pressurized volume a human can freely move in. Most are tiny tin cans. So I was wondering, ...
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2answers
415 views

Could a rogue planet's moons harbor life?

Because stars kill stuff with radiation, flares, etc, then die taking planets with them, might it not be easier for living things to live on a rogue planet's moon? Say you had a rogue Jupiter-like ...
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1answer
102 views

What exoplanet atmospheres might support life beside our nitrogen and oxygen atmosphere? [closed]

What exoplanet atmospheres might support life beside our nitrogen and oxygen atmosphere? Related question: Could an exoplanet atmosphere be very similar to our own, but contain some component toxic ...
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1answer
1k views

How many astronauts are left handed?

One kind of 'popular science' fun facts that is very popular is to show how many of the individuals belonging to a notable group of people that are left handed, often showing a large disproportionally ...
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1answer
2k views

Could you hear the sound of your own body in the vacuum of space?

I think the answer to this question probably lies more in biology than astrophysics. If you were in space with an oxygen mask on (ignoring the fact that you will get quite cold for the moment) you ...