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Re: Meteorite Yields Evidence of Primitive Life on Early Mars



On Sun, 11 Aug 1996, Lee J. McLean wrote:

> On 9/8/96 at 3:00 PM, Nick Longrich asked:
> >a) is it
> >theoretically possible for bacterial spores or organisms of some kind to
> >survive the heating, cooling, and radiation experienced during a
> >meteorite's journey between Earth and Mars (given the amount of stuff
> >flying around the solar syem in the early days, it's probably a given
> >that meteorites went between planets relatively often)
> 
> I am quite sure that, buried deep in my science mag collection (I believe
> it was in an issue of _Omega_, the Australian version of the also now
> defunct _Science Digest_), there is an article stating that bacteria
> survived a trip to the moon and back on (I think) one of the Apollo
> missions (on the outside of one of the landing pods). Can anybody confirm
> this? (I remember it because I considered it to be a revelation with vast
> implications.)

This was Apollo XII. The crew retrieved pieces of of one of the earlier
Surveypr landers. They found germs had indeed survived several years on 
the moon.

> P.S. For the record I too hope that Martian life bears no relation to earth
> life, but the possibility cannot be ignored.

As I believe Calvin and Hobbes put it, a sure sign of its intelligence 
is that it hasn't tried to contact us.

+----------+    Rich Travsky   RTRAVSKY @ UWYO . EDU
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