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Limits of Life and the Habitability of Mars: The ESA Space Experiment BIOMEX on the ISS

de Vera, J. P. and Alawi, M. and Backhaus, T. and Baque, M. and Billi, D. and Böttger, U. and Berger, T. and Bohmeier, M and Cockell, C. and Demets, R. and de la Torre Noetzel, R. and Edwards, H.G.M. and Elsaesser, A. and Fagliarone, C. and Fiedler, A. and Foing, B. and Foucher, F. and Fritz, J. and Hanke, F. and Herzog, T.H. and Horneck, G. and Hübers, Heinz-Wilhelm and Huwe, Björn and Joshi, J. and Kozyrovska, N. and Kruchten, M. and Lasch, P. and Lee, N. and Leuko, Stefan and Leya, T. and Lorek, Andreas and Martinez-Frias, J. and Meessen, J. and Moritz, S. and Moeller, R. and Olsson-Francis, K. and Onofri, S. and Ott, S. and Pacelli, C. and Podolich, O. and Rabbow, Elke and Reitz, G and Rettberg, Petra and Reva, O. and Rothschild, L. and Sancho, L. G. and Schulze-Makuch, D. and Selbmann, L. and Serrano, P. and Szewzyk, U. and Verseux, C. and Wadsworth, J. and Wagner, D. and Westall, F. and Wolter, D. and Zucconi, L. (2019) Limits of Life and the Habitability of Mars: The ESA Space Experiment BIOMEX on the ISS. Astrobiology, 19 (2), pp. 145-157. Mary Ann Liebert Inc.. doi: 10.1089/ast.2018.1897. ISSN 1531-1074.

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Official URL: https://www.liebertpub.com/toc/ast/19/2


BIOMEX (BIOlogy and Mars EXperiment) is an ESA/Roscosmos space exposure experiment housed within the exposure facility EXPOSE-R2 outside the Zvezda module on the International Space Station (ISS). The design of the multiuser facility supports - among others - the BIOMEX investigations into the stability and level of degradation of space-exposed biosignatures such as pigments, secondary metabolites, and cell surfaces in contact with a terrestrial and Mars analog mineral environment. In parallel, analysis on the viability of the investigated organisms has provided relevant data for evaluation of the habitability of Mars, for the limits of life, and for the likelihood of an interplanetary transfer of life (theory of lithopanspermia). In this project, lichens, archaea, bacteria, cyanobacteria, snow/permafrost algae, meristematic black fungi, and bryophytes from alpine and polar Habitats were embedded, grown, and cultured on a mixture of martian and lunar regolith analogs or other terrestrial minerals. The organisms and regolith analogs and terrestrial mineral mixtures were then exposed to space and to simulated Mars-like conditions by way of the EXPOSE-R2 facility. In this special issue, we present the first set of data obtained in reference to our investigation into the habitability of Mars and limits of life. This project was initiated and implemented by the BIOMEX group, an international and interdisciplinary consortium of 30 institutes in 12 countries on 3 continents. Preflight tests for sample selection, results from ground-based simulation experiments, and the space experiments themselves are presented and include a complete overview of the scientific processes required for this space experiment and postflight analysis. The presented BIOMEX concept could be scaled up to future exposure experiments on the Moon and will serve as a pretest in low Earth orbit.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/127960/
Document Type:Article
Title:Limits of Life and the Habitability of Mars: The ESA Space Experiment BIOMEX on the ISS
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
de Vera, J. P.DLR, German Aerospace Center, Management and Infrastructure, Astrobiological Laboratories, Berlin, Germany.https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9530-5821UNSPECIFIED
Alawi, M.GFZ, German Research Centre for Geosciences, Helmholtz Centre Potsdam, Section 5.3 Geomicrobiology, Telegrafenberg, Potsdam,UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Backhaus, T.Institut für Botanik, Heinrich-Heine-Universität (HHU), Universitätsstr.1, 40225 Düsseldorf, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Baque, M.UNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-6696-6030UNSPECIFIED
Billi, D.department of biology, university of rome "tor vergata," rome, italyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Berger, T.UNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-3319-5740UNSPECIFIED
Bohmeier, MInstitute of Aerospace Medicine, Radiation Biology Department, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Cologne, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Demets, R.ESA/ESTEC, Noordwijk, the NetherlandsUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
de la Torre Noetzel, R.Department of Earth Observation, Area of Atmospheric Research and Instrumentation, INTA, 28850 Torrejón de Ardoz, Madrid, SpainUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Elsaesser, A.Experimental Molecular Biophysics, Free University of Berlin, Arnimallee 14, 14195 Berlin, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Fagliarone, C.Department of Biology, Laboratory of Astrobiology and Molecular Biology of Cyanobacteria from Extreme Environments, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Fiedler, A.University of Potsdam, Institute for Biochemistry and Biology, Biodiversity research and Botany, Maulbeerallee 1, 14469 Potsdam, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Foing, B.RSSD of ESA. ESTEC, NL 2200 AG, Noordwijk, The NetherlandsUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Fritz, J.Museum für Naturkunde, Leibnitz-Institut für Evolutions- und Biodiversitätsforschung, Humboldt-Universität, BerlinUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Herzog, T.H.TH Wildau, Technical University of Applied Sciences, Wildau, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Horneck, G.radiation biology department, institute of aerospace medicine, german aerospace center (dlr), cologne, germany.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Huwe, BjörnBiodiversity Research/Systematic Botany, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Joshi, J.University of Potsdam, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Kozyrovska, N.Institute od Molecular Biology & Genetics, NASU, UkraineUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Kruchten, M.Institut für Botanik, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Lasch, P.Robert Koch Institute, Centre of biological Safety 6; Nordufer 20 13353 Berlin, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Lee, N.Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Umea University, Umea, SwedenUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Leuko, StefanUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-0423-0896UNSPECIFIED
Leya, T.Fraunhofer IZI-BB, Potsdam, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Lorek, AndreasUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-8960-6214UNSPECIFIED
Martinez-Frias, J.Centro de Astrobiologia, CSIC-INTA, Madrid, SpainUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Meessen, J.HHU, Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf, Germany.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Moritz, S.Biodiversity Research/Systematic Botany, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Moeller, R.UNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-2371-0676UNSPECIFIED
Olsson-Francis, K.The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA, United KingdomUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Onofri, S.DECOS, Università degli Studi della Tuscia, Largo dell’Università, Viterbo, Italy;UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Ott, S.Institut für Botanik, Heinrich-Heine Universität (HHU), Düsseldorf, Germany.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Pacelli, C.DECOS, Università degli Studi della Tuscia, Largo dell’Università, Viterbo, ItalyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Podolich, O.Institute of Molecular Biology & Genetics of National Academy of Sciences of UkraineUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Rabbow, ElkeUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-9301-2021UNSPECIFIED
Reitz, GGerman Aerospace Center, Institute of Aerospace Medicine, Linder Hoehe, D-51147 Cologne, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Rettberg, PetraUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-4439-2395UNSPECIFIED
Reva, O.Pretoria University, Bioinformatics Center, Pretoria, South Africa.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Rothschild, L.Earth Sciences Division, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Sancho, L. G.UCM, Univ. Complutense Madrid, Madrid, Spain.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Schulze-Makuch, D.TU Berlin, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Selbmann, L.DECOS, Università degli Studi della Tuscia, Largo dell’Università, Viterbo, Italy;UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Serrano, P.Geoforschungszentrum, PotsdamUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Szewzyk, U.Institut für Umwelttechnologie, TU BerlinUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Verseux, C.Department of Biology, University of Rome "Tor Vergata," Rome, ItalyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Wadsworth, J.School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UKUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Wagner, D.Geoforschungszentrum, PotsdamUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Westall, F.CNRS-CBM, rue C. Sadron, 45071 Orléans, FranceUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Zucconi, L.DECOS, Università degli Studi della Tuscia, Largo dell’Università, Viterbo, Italy;UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date:February 2019
Journal or Publication Title:Astrobiology
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 145-157
Publisher:Mary Ann Liebert Inc.
Keywords:BIOMEX; Habitability; Limits of life; Extremophiles; Mars
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Exploration
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EW - Space Exploration
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben Planetary Evolution and Life (old)
Location: Berlin-Adlershof , Köln-Porz
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Leitungsbereich PF
Institute of Optical Sensor Systems > Space Instruments
Institute of Aerospace Medicine > Radiation Biology
Deposited By: de Vera, Dr. Jean Pierre Paul
Deposited On:27 Jun 2019 15:49
Last Modified:31 Oct 2023 15:06

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