Bacteria are found in almost every environment since they are able to survive in many different habitats. They can be found on soil, in plants, on animals and inside them and in the air. They are also able to survive in extreme temperatures and can live with or without oxygen. Although the planet Mars is not a habitable place, NASA has claimed that bacteria could colonize on Mars.
Now the question is even if Curiosity has taken bacteria along with it to Mars, are the bacteria still alive? Well the answer is unknown. But what we know that there are certain species of bacteria that can survive in harsh environment. Besides, scientists from the University of Idaho and California’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory had swabbed different parts of the rover before sending it off towards Mars. So it could be possible that Curiosity has taken bacteria along with it to Mars.
Scientists have mentioned that they “don’t want to contaminate other planets” with such Earth life creatures. They have also claimed that by any chance, during swabbing different parts of the rover before sending it off towards Mars, if any bacteria were in Curiosity, then they didn’t do it willingly.
Note that, the study is a first step toward investigating whether and which species may make it to Mars and contaminate samples collected in the future. However, to know the truth, we have nothing to do except waiting.
Source: Nature News