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Experimental evidence for the potential impact ejection of viable microorganisms from Mars and Mars-like planets

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Bacterial spores (Bacillus subtilis), cyanobacteria (Chroococcidiopsis sp.), and lichen (Xanthoria elegans) embedded in martian analogue rock (gabbro) were exposed to shock pressures between 5 and 50 GPa which is the range of pressures observed in martian meteorites. The survival of Bacillus subtilis and Xanthoria elegans up to 45 GPa and of Chroococcidiopsis sp. up to 10 GPa supports the possibility of transfer of life inside meteoroids between Mars and Earth and it implies the potential for the transfer of life from any Mars-like planet to other habitable planets in the same stellar system.

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