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Lichen and Moss on Mars: My random thoughts on the subject


Admiral Fluffy
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Could lichen and moss survive on Mars?  I will mainly use moss, because i like it better. I suppose they could, if they were provided ample amounts of oxygen. Using a system called MMOWS*, you could make small amounts of oxygen, and release it under it. I assume that the moss could trap the oxygen, and keep it alive. It would probably be one of the experiments carried on a manned mars mission. It could hypothetically be used as food, but I believe that wouldn't be the best idea, as some harmful chemicals from the soil might have leeched into it. You would also need to water it, but you could put that through the same oxygen supplying network.

Alternatively, they could be made chemosynthetic**, and dumped on some mineral deposit. This probably wouldn't work very well, as I believe that the lack of oxygen in the atmosphere would harm the plant. Being both photosynthetic and chemosynthetic could be beneficial though.  

I am certainly not a expert on any of this, so please tell me if I am wrong.

Spoiler

*Martian Moss Oxygen and Water Supplier, derived from MOXIE, Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment. 

**biological consumption of energy from inorganic compounds

 

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7 hours ago, SunlitZelkova said:

Yes.

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Moss, along with cockroaches, were used to terraform Mars in the 2000s, with violent and gross results in the 2500s-

Terra Formars (2016) - IMDb

 

... King Roach?

At least they have the ballpark timeframe right.

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Probably depends on Moss, is she Kate or Elizabeth.

***

Is speak about the moss and the lichen as plants, the lichen is a symbiosis of a fungus and an algae, not an individual plant.

Moss and algae wood loose the water in the Martian vacuum and couldn't become chemosynthetic, as they are plants.

The lichen fungus even on the Earth needs the algae for photosynthesis, so would die from starvation in addition to vacuum.

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15 hours ago, Admiral Fluffy said:

Could lichen and moss survive on Mars?  I will mainly use moss, because i like it better. I suppose they could, if they were provided ample amounts of oxygen. Using a system called MMOWS*, you could make small amounts of oxygen, and release it under it. I assume that the moss could trap the oxygen, and keep it alive. It would probably be one of the experiments carried on a manned mars mission. It could hypothetically be used as food, but I believe that wouldn't be the best idea, as some harmful chemicals from the soil might have leeched into it. You would also need to water it, but you could put that through the same oxygen supplying network.

Alternatively, they could be made chemosynthetic**, and dumped on some mineral deposit. This probably wouldn't work very well, as I believe that the lack of oxygen in the atmosphere would harm the plant. Being both photosynthetic and chemosynthetic could be beneficial though.  

I am certainly not a expert on any of this, so please tell me if I am wrong.

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*Martian Moss Oxygen and Water Supplier, derived from MOXIE, Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment. 

**biological consumption of energy from inorganic compounds

 

Check out this - the author goes into detail (on lichen) https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entangled_Life

Talks about lichen experience in space and projects about what it means for Mars. 

 

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If some kind of symbiotic organism combination of tardigrades, algae, fungi, along with a dydration resistant bacterial biofilm coating the entire glom...maybe some kind of tiny team approach could work.  I include the tardigrades because they are tough and would give the "team" a way to move away from danger, perhaps burrowing underground during high radiation days, but still able to make use of photosynthesis when feasible.  Basically a tardigrade in a "bio-EVA suit" that helped sustain it.  A Martian tiny tardigrade Fremen in a bio-stillsuit

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4 hours ago, darthgently said:

If some kind of symbiotic organism combination of tardigrades, algae, fungi, along with a dydration resistant bacterial biofilm coating the entire glom...maybe some kind of tiny team approach could work.  I include the tardigrades because they are tough and would give the "team" a way to move away from danger, perhaps burrowing underground during high radiation days, but still able to make use of photosynthesis when feasible.  Basically a tardigrade in a "bio-EVA suit" that helped sustain it.  A Martian tiny tardigrade Fremen in a bio-stillsuit

… and that’s what the giant sandworms evolved from 

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6 minutes ago, StrandedonEarth said:

… and that’s what the giant sandworms evolved from 

Arrakis is just a ball left by the Cosmic White Rabbit, and the sandworms were always living there.

(That's how the spice appeared.)

Spoiler

 

 

This theory explains other aspects of the Dunan  culture.

***

But were there lichens and moss on Arrakis?

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15 hours ago, DDE said:

At least they have the ballpark timeframe right.

If there is hard and soft SF, Terraformars is liquid science fiction. It does make some interesting points about the nature of the treatment of insects/arachnids/bugs by humans.

(Just as humans regularly kill bugs for no reason at all, even outdoors, the evolved cockroaches snap human necks at random).

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