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Life's Journey: 5 Tiny Organisms Hitch a Ride on Mission to a Martian Moon [Slide Show]

The Russian sample-return spacecraft will carry a zoo of microbes to Phobos and back to test whether life can survive the interplanetary journey

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Arabidopsis thaliana:

The flowering seeds of this little plant have gone to the moon and back on board Apollo lunar missions—and they still germinated, despite the heavy radiation dose.....[ More ]

Tardigrades (multiple species):

Carrying the banner for the animal kingdom are these 1.5-millimeter-long relatives of nematodes, known as water bears. They have already demonstrated their resilience in extreme conditions, including high levels of ionizing radiation and the vacuum of space.....[ More ]

Saccharomyces cerevisiae:

Nothing as complex as baker's yeast would ever have made the journey from Mars on board a meteoroid, but scientists included it in the capsule just to see if it can tough out the ride.....[ More ]

Pyrococcus furiosus:

This Archaea thrives in volcanically heated ocean sediments, at temperatures that can exceed 100 degrees Celsius . Scientists doubt it is analogous to anything that might live on frigid Mars, but they included it as an experimental control.....[ More ]

Deinococcus radiodurans:

It is astounding what a lickin' this bacterium can take and keep on tickin' . D. radiodurans is famous for thriving under intense radiation; it can survive doses several thousand times stronger than would be lethal to humans.....[ More ]

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