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WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM MICROORGANISMS FROM EXTREME ENVIRONMENTS ON EARTH FOR SPACE EXPLORATION?

Rettberg, P. (2021) WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM MICROORGANISMS FROM EXTREME ENVIRONMENTS ON EARTH FOR SPACE EXPLORATION? COSPAR 2021, 28. Januar - 4. Februar 2021, Sydney, Australia and Virtual Event (Hybrid).

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Abstract

The search for past or present life in our solar system is a major driver for space exploration. So far, Earth is the only known planet which harbors life. Our understanding of habitability is based on our knowledge about the physical and chemical limits of life on Earth and directs the search for extraterrestrial life in space missions. Habitable environments exist on our neigbour planet Mars and in the subsurface oceans of the icy moons in the outer solar system, such as Europa and Enceladus. To learn more about the limits of life on Earth we studying extreme environments on Earth and performing experiments in microbiological labs, in space simulation facilties and in space experiments using space as a tool for astrobiology. In our ongoing research activities with a focus on Mars, microorganisms were isolated from extreme Mars-analogue environments on Earth. Their resistance against environmental parameters as they exist on Mars such as low water activity, anaerobic atmosphere, low pressure, short-wavelength UV radiation, ionising radiation, oxidising compounds were tested in the lab and in planetary and space simulation facilities. The isolation and investigation of different microbial strains showed that (i) desiccation tolerance is quite common, (ii) desiccation and radiation tolerance is not correlated, (iii) in some cases, desiccation results in enhanced radiation tolerance, (iv) high concentrations of oxidizing compounds are influencing the cell viability and morphology, (v) perchlorates have an influence on desiccation tolerance, but not on radiation tolerance. We could show that microorganisms from extreme environments on Earth can survive Mars-relevant stress factors. If they can also survive a simultaneous exposure to all of them will be tested in a space experiment on the International Space Station.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/141310/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM MICROORGANISMS FROM EXTREME ENVIRONMENTS ON EARTH FOR SPACE EXPLORATION?
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Rettberg, P.Radiation Biology Department, Institute of Aerospace Medicine, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Cologne, Germany; petra.rettberg (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-4439-2395
Date:30 January 2021
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Status:Published
Keywords:Astrobiology, space exploration, extreme environments, microorganisms, habitable environments, Mars, ISS
Event Title:COSPAR 2021
Event Location:Sydney, Australia and Virtual Event (Hybrid)
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:28. Januar - 4. Februar 2021
Organizer:COSPAR - COMMITTEE ON SPACE RESEARCH
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 - Project ISS LIFE 2.0
Location: Köln-Porz
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Aerospace Medicine > Radiation Biology
Deposited By: Kopp, Kerstin
Deposited On:12 Mar 2021 10:44
Last Modified:14 Apr 2021 15:55

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