Antarctic Fungi survives Martian simulation

After 18 months aboard the International Space Station a species of Fungi from Antarctica has survived Martian like conditions relatively intact.

At least 60% of the cryptoendolithic cells managed to survive the simulation and continued to exhibit stable DNA.

The fungi were kept in an environment of 95% CO2, 1.6% argon, 0.15% oxygen and 2.7% nitrogen at a pressure of 1,000 pascals. Samples were also exposed to harsh ultra violet radiation as they would be on the surface of Mars.

The simulation will help to provide answers on what biological life on Mars might look like and where it could be hiding.

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