mars pressure 1
Figure from the Astrobiology paper by Schuerger et al. Twenty-six bacteria typically recovered from spacecraft were examined by UF researchers to see if they could grow under low pressure, temperature and oxygen conditions like those found on Mars. Plate A shows the control group grown under standard Earth pressure (1013 millibars) and oxygen and at 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Plate B shows the bacteria that can survive when temperature is dropped to freezing. Plate C shows the bacteria that survived with freezing temperature and no oxygen. Plate D shows bacterial growth at pressure as low as that on Mars (7 millibars), no oxygen and freezing temperature. Only one bacterium, Serratia liquefaciens, survived the harsh conditions. Arrows indicate locations of Serratia liquefaciens. The results were published Jan. 7 online in the journal Astrobiology. In a related study published online in late December in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers found Carnobacterium (Figure 2) that can also survive in low pressure, temperature and oxygen conditions.