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Phobos LIFE (Living Interplanetary Flight Experiment)

Betts, Bruce H. and Warmflash, David and Fraze, Raymond E. and Friedman, Louis and Vorobyova, Elena and Lilburn, Timothy G. and Smith, Amy and Rettberg, Petra and Jönsson, K. Ingemar and Ciftcioglu, Neva and Fox, George E. and Svitek, Tomas and Kirschvinck, Joseph L. and Moeller, Ralf and Wassmann, Marko and Berger, Thomas (2019) Phobos LIFE (Living Interplanetary Flight Experiment). Astrobiology, 19 (9), pp. 1177-1185. Mary Ann Liebert Inc.. doi: 10.1089/ast.2018.1904. ISSN 1531-1074.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/ast.2018.1904


The Planetary Society’s Phobos Living Interplanetary Flight Experiment (Phobos LIFE) flew in the sample return capsule of the Russian Federal Space Agency’s Phobos Grunt mission and was to have been a test of one aspect of the hypothesis that life can move between nearby planets within ejected rocks. Although the Phobos Grunt mission failed, we present here the scientific and engineering design and motivation of the Phobos LIFE experiment to assist with the scientific and engineering design of similar future experiments. Phobos LIFE flew selected organisms in a simulated meteoroid. The 34-month voyage would have been the first such test to occur in the high-radiation environment outside the protection of Earth’s magnetosphere for more than a few days. The patented Phobos LIFE ‘‘biomodule’’ is an 88 g cylinder consisting of a titanium outer shell, several types of redundant seals, and 31 individual Delrin sample containers. Phobos LIFE contained 10 different organisms, representing all three domains of life, and one soil sample. The organisms are all very well characterized, most with sequenced genomes. Most are extremophiles, and most have flown in low Earth orbit. Upon return from space, the health and characteristics of organisms were to have been compared with controls that remained on Earth and have not yet been opened.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/129036/
Document Type:Article
Title:Phobos LIFE (Living Interplanetary Flight Experiment)
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Betts, Bruce H.The Planetary Society, Pasadena, California, USAUNSPECIFIED
Warmflash, DavidThe Planetary Society, Pasadena, California, USAUNSPECIFIED
Fraze, Raymond E.Stellar Exploration, Inc., San Luis Obispo, California, USA and Vector Design, Hereford, Arizona, USA.UNSPECIFIED
Friedman, LouisThe Planetary Society, Pasadena, California, USAUNSPECIFIED
Vorobyova, ElenaSpace Research Institute (IKI), Moscow, Russia and Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia.UNSPECIFIED
Lilburn, Timothy G.Novozymes NA, Franklinton, North Carolina, USA.UNSPECIFIED
Smith, AmyGeorge Mason University, Manassas, Virginia, USA.UNSPECIFIED
Rettberg, PetraUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-4439-2395
Jönsson, K. IngemarDepartment of Environmental Science and Bioscience, Kristianstad University, Kristianstad, Sweden.UNSPECIFIED
Ciftcioglu, NevaIndependent, Houston, Texas, USA.UNSPECIFIED
Fox, George E.University of Houston, Houston, Texas, USA.UNSPECIFIED
Svitek, TomasStellar Exploration, Inc., San Luis Obispo, California, USAUNSPECIFIED
Kirschvinck, Joseph L.Caltech, Pasadena, California, USA and Earth-Life Science Institute, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Meguro-ku, Tokyo, Japan.UNSPECIFIED
Moeller, RalfUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-2371-0676
Wassmann, MarkoGerman Aerospace Center (DLR e. V.), Executive Board Division Space Research and Development, Programme Space R&D, Cologne (Köln), GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Berger, ThomasUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-3319-5740
Date:22 August 2019
Journal or Publication Title:Astrobiology
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 1177-1185
Publisher:Mary Ann Liebert Inc.
Keywords:Phobos LIFE, Spaceflight experiments, Transpermia, Panspermia, Lithopanspermia.
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 - Research under Space Conditions
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben Strahlenbiologie (old)
Location: Köln-Porz
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Aerospace Medicine > Radiation Biology
Deposited By: Kopp, Kerstin
Deposited On:20 Sep 2019 11:33
Last Modified:20 Sep 2019 11:33

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