We are super excited that the Planetary Society’s Phobos LIFE (Living Interplanetary Flight Experiment) is about ready to launch to Mars’ moon Phobos and back. We have been working for years preparing this unique test of the effects of long term exposure to deep space on a wide variety of life. Can microorganisms survive the high radiation, microgravity environment outside the protection of the Earth’s magnetosphere for almost three years? The launch period for the Russian Phobos Sample Return mission carrying Phobos LIFE opens November 8.
In the mean time, check out the new great article by Phobos LIFE science principal investigator David Warmflash in Scientific American. The first couple paragraphs are online for anyone. Also there you can find a “new” picture of a tardigrade (tardigrades are nicknamed water bears). Some here at the Planetary Society find it cute, others of us are plagued by it in our nightmares. What do you think?
You’ll need to be a subscriber to Scientific American to check out the whole article, but no matter what, you can find lots more information about Phobos LIFE here on our web site. You can also support Phobos LIFE including critical upcoming experiments on the Earth control biomodules by clicking here.