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Conan the Bacterium


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I am fascinated by the idea of life in the universe outside of our little planet and very much hope to have some conclusive evidence of it before my time is up; yes, I am both hopeful but still skeptical. As far as I am concerned, one confirmed example of extraterrestrial life would be enough given the size of the universe; if it can occur in even one other place/planet, I think it is a fair assumption that it'll occur in many, many places/planets.

That is why 'Conan the Bacterium' is fascinating.

"A few years from now, a small capsule will enter Earth’s atmosphere and float to the surface under a parachute. The parachute will likely be radar-reflective so that it can be easily tracked. It may land in Australia’s outback, a popular spot for sample returns. Scientists will take it to a sterilized, secure lab and carefully open it. Inside, there’ll be rock samples from Mars collected by the Perseverance Rover.

If a new study is correct, scientists should look carefully for dormant life in those samples.

Perseverance was sent to the Jezero Crater on Mars to look for evidence of ancient microbial life. As part of its mission, it collects samples and caches them. In the future, a joint ESA/NASA mission will retrieve those samples and send them back to Earth." (Universe today, link below)

Recent studies have shown that 'Conan the Bacterium' has the means to survive in a Martian environment, but that isn't the same thing as stating that Mars has/had life; it also has to be found there.

What is 'Conan the Bacterium'? It is an Extremeophile, a form of life that can exist under extreme conditions.

"Deinococcus radiodurans, nicknamed "Conan the Bacterium," is one of the world's toughest microbes, capable of surviving in radiation strong enough to kill any other known life-form. Experiments have now shown that if Conan the Bacterium or a similar microbe existed on Mars, it could survive 33 feet (10 meters) beneath the surface, frozen and dried out, for 280 million years.(space.com, link below)

This is the slow progress of human enlightenment. Thousands of years ago, people lay on their backs and looked up to the night sky wondering if there was anything out there. Slowly, very slowly, we have catalogued stars and planets, comets and meteors, and learned of all sorts of new phenomena outside our small shell. Then, we have actually visited other worlds; bloody hell! Now, we have evidence of life that could (repeat, 'could') potentially survive on that visited planet.

What will be next?

The proof that life as we know it could (repeat 'could') survive on another world takes us one more baby-step along the path to solving the greatest question of all...

"Is there anybody out there?"

PS As a side note, if life were discovered on another planet, wouldn't you love for it to be known as "Conan the Bacterium"?






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1 hour ago, Shade_Wilder said:

This is the slow progress of human enlightenment. Thousands of years ago, people lay on their backs and looked up to the night sky wondering if there was anything out there.

I would actually say that thousands of years ago, people looked up at the sky and assumed there was life up there 😁

The inquiring mind becomes more skeptical with enlightenment, or should do anyway. Question assumptions and then establish proof. The ancients didn’t have the means to do that, but now we’re getting there.

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There are 2 trillion galaxies in the observable universe. I believe it is simply a case of when, not if, humankind will see other sentient life and in what form that will that sentient life be. 

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