ROSKOSMOS PRESS OFFICE
Russian interplanetary probe Phobos-Grunt will have passengers. There are earth`s bacteria. They will fly from the Earth to Mars and back and undergo space cold and radiation. Scientists want to use the bacteria to find out whether life of our planet could have been brought from space.
Lev Zeleny, director of RAS Space Research Institute, explains that the goal of this mission is to check if bacteria can survive in outer space, for example, if they fly on the surface of meteor.
Phobos-Grunt is intended for exploration of Mars and its satellite Phobos. It will deliver samples of Phobos` soil to the Earth. The spacecraft will begin its mission in Oct. 2009.
Returned back to the Earth, the bacteria will be studied by the scientists. “Radiation will provide the most impact. Bacteria can survive in vacuum”, Zeleny says.
One of the life origin theories says that bacteria can travel on comets and meteor, and that is how they arrived at our planet, thus giving birth to life on the Earth.