The Study of Microbial Survival in Extraterrestrial Environments Using Low Earth Orbit and Ground-Based Experiments

Olsson-Francis, Karen; Ramkissoon, Nisha K.; Price, Alex B.; Slade, David J.; Macey, Michael C. and Pearson, Victoria K. (2018). The Study of Microbial Survival in Extraterrestrial Environments Using Low Earth Orbit and Ground-Based Experiments. In: Gurtler, Volker and Trevors, Jack T. eds. Microbiology of Atypical Environments. Methods in Microbiology, 45. Elsevier, pp. 27–65.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/bs.mim.2018.07.003

Abstract

Microorganisms can be used as model systems for studying the biological responses to extraterrestrial conditions. Understanding how cells degrade under such conditions is important for identifying potential biosignatures for future life detection missions. The facilities used to study such responses are extremely challenging and expensive. Therefore, these studies depend on a combination of ground-based simulation and real space experiments. This chapter gives an overview of facilities that are used in space, for example, the EXPOSE facility onboard, the International Space Station, and ground-based simulation facilities. It will also discuss the importance of this research in the context on future life detection missions.

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