There is a longstanding desire among many to one day send man to Mars, and while the idea sounds more like science-fiction still today, a group of students in Germany believe they have the plan to get us one step closer to the red planet.
Scientists have been able to send rovers out to our distant neighbor planet, but sending a human proves to be much more difficult. A lack of proper oxygen supplies, while not the only factor holding human exploration back, is a major obstacle to overcome. However this group of students think the answer may lie in cyanobacteria.
Robert P. Schröder, who has been leading the group of students, explains that cyanobacteria has very robust survival capabilities and “live in conditions on Earth where no life would be expected. You find them everywhere on our planet! It is the first step on Mars to test microorganisms.”
The proposed plan, Cyano Knights, calls for cyanobacteria to be injected into Mars to deliver oxygen by absorbing the vast amount of CO2 and producing a natural photosynthesis. As more of the CO2 is absorbed and reduced, it may pave the way for other organisms to develop.
There are still a lot of unknowns about the actual conditions on Mars today, so the theory worked up by the students may not produce any results. However, Schröder is hoping to test their idea on Mars-like conditions, and maybe one day get the chance to test it on the red planet itself.