Questions tagged [life]

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

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27
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2answers
5k views

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 ...
2
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2answers
127 views

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 ...
10
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3answers
1k views

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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0answers
249 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 ...
3
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0answers
75 views

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 ...
5
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1answer
317 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 ...
18
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3answers
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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 ...
15
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4answers
5k views

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 ...
3
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1answer
548 views

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 ...
3
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0answers
75 views

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 ...
7
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1answer
312 views

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 ...
18
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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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1answer
53 views

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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1answer
88 views

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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1answer
133 views

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 ...
6
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0answers
58 views

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 ...
14
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5answers
3k views

What level of oxygen in a planetary atmosphere would be indicative of life?

Astronomical spectroscopy can be used to determine the chemical composition of far away bodies. In the related question Can we detect atmosphere on exoplanets? we learned that even now we are studying ...
12
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3answers
633 views

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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0answers
36 views

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?
1
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1answer
111 views

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 ...
5
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3answers
413 views

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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0answers
162 views

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): ...
13
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1answer
1k views

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 ...
6
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1answer
269 views

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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3answers
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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 ...
6
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4answers
601 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 ...
7
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1answer
573 views

What was the design and/or results of the fish experiement onboard Space Shuttle Columbia disaster mission STS-107?

Highlights from NASA's webpage lists studies done during the Space Shuttle Columbia mission STS-107 including student experiments, one of them including fish. What did the student fish experiment ...
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1answer
5k views

How many astronauts have reported an alien encounter of some kind?

This question will be controversial, so I want to start out by saying that I am not advocating any sort of conspiracy. I'm merely acknolwedging the fact that there are numerous claims that some ...
5
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1answer
131 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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2answers
192 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
1k views

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 ...
4
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3answers
302 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)...
7
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2answers
694 views

What other bodies in the solar system are most likely to contain forms of life?

There have been many candidates stated as potential habitats for life outside of Earth, but what are considered to be the most likely to harbor life?
4
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3answers
176 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 ...
2
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2answers
271 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 ...
11
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3answers
328 views

Is the rigorous disinfection process prior to launch necessary?

Before a rover or other exploration vehicle is launched, it undergoes rigorous cleaning and disinfection, such as a bath in UV rays to kill off bacteria. The official reasoning on this seems to be ...
6
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2answers
130 views

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 ...
11
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1answer
267 views

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 ...
2
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0answers
94 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 ...
3
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6answers
579 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 ...
7
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1answer
239 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 ...
5
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1answer
6k 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 ...
3
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2answers
3k 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
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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. ...
6
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1answer
186 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 ...
10
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1answer
3k 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 ...
7
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3answers
820 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?
11
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1answer
2k 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, ...
7
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1answer
217 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 ...
8
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1answer
577 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 ...