|Dr. Andrew Schuerger is a scientist who studies how Earth bacteria might survive and grow on Mars. He designed this chamber to simulate the surface environment of the red planet.
It is difficult for Earth microbes to grow and replicate on Mars. Why? The main reasons are because the air pressure is so low (less than 1% of Earth pressure), there is little or no liquid water available, and the microbes are damaged by the ultraviolet (UV) radiation coming from the sun. On Earth we are somewhat protected from UV rays by the thicker atmosphere (though we often need sunscreen!)
Dr. Schuerger is a University of Florida research scientist whose lab is located next to the Kennedy Space Center.
|The Mars Simulation Chamber|
|Click on this link for a NASA article about Dr. Schuerger’s research on “space hitchhikers.”|