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Mars Analogues for space exploration – A summary of results

Cockell, C. S. (and the MASE Team) (2017) Mars Analogues for space exploration – A summary of results. EANA 2017, 14.-17. August, 2017, Aarhus, Denmark.

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Abstract

Astrobiology seeks to understand the limits of life and to determine the physiology of organisms in order to be able to better assess the potential habitability of other worlds and improve our ability to assay them for the presence of life. To successfully achieve this we require representative microorganisms from environments on Earth that in physical and/or chemical conditions approximate to extraterrestrial environments. The most challenging of these environ-ments with respect to the sample collection and follow on isolation and cultivation of microorganisms are anaerobic environments. Here we describe a systematic approach to this challenge and aim to provide a guideline for future field work and sampling campaigns. We selected a number of anaerobic environments based on characteristics that make them analogous to past and present locations on Mars (Icelandic lakes, sulfidic springs, deep hypersaline environ-ments, acidic iron-rich environments and permafrost). We implemented a culturing approach to enrich organisms from these environments under anaerobic conditions using a defined medium that would allow for all organisms to be grown under iden- tical culturing conditions in future physiological comparisons. We then isolated anaerobic microorganisms, carried out a study of their basic physiology and deposited these organisms in the DSMZ (Deutsche Sammlung von Mikroorganismen und Zellkulturen GmbH) culture collection to make them available to astrobiologists and microbiologists. These organisms can them be used for a variety of astrobiology projects. In MASE, the selected organisms are being artifically fossilised and matured and the ensuing biosignatures studied in order to aid the search for in situ biosignatures on Mars and in samples returned from Mars. This project represents the first attempt to implement a coordinated effort from the selection of extraterrestrial analog sites through to the isolation and the characterisation of organisms and their deposition within a culture collection.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/114423/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:Mars Analogues for space exploration – A summary of results
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Cockell, C. S. (and the MASE Team)UK Center for Astrobiology, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Edinburgh, James Clerk Max-well Building, Peter Guthrie Tait Road, Edinburgh, EH9 3FD, UK, email: c.s.cockell (at) ed.ac.uk.UNSPECIFIED
Date:2017
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Status:Published
Keywords:MASE (Mars Analogues for Space Exploration)
Event Title:EANA 2017
Event Location:Aarhus, Denmark
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:14.-17. August, 2017
Organizer:European Astrobiology Network Association
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Research under Space Conditions
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R FR - Forschung unter Weltraumbedingungen
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben Strahlenbiologie
Location: Köln-Porz
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Aerospace Medicine > Radiation Biology
Deposited By: Kopp, Kerstin
Deposited On:28 Sep 2017 11:46
Last Modified:31 Jul 2019 20:11

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