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Review
, 571 (1-2), 249-64

The Solar UV Environment and Bacterial Spore UV Resistance: Considerations for Earth-to-Mars Transport by Natural Processes and Human Spaceflight

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Review

The Solar UV Environment and Bacterial Spore UV Resistance: Considerations for Earth-to-Mars Transport by Natural Processes and Human Spaceflight

Wayne L Nicholson et al. Mutat Res.

Abstract

The environment in space and on planets such as Mars can be lethal to microorganisms because of the high vacuum and high solar radiation flux, in particular UV radiation, in such environments. Spores of various Bacillus species are among the organisms most resistant to the lethal effects of high vacuum and UV radiation, and as a consequence are of major concern for planetary contamination via unmanned spacecraft or even natural processes. This review focuses on the spores of various Bacillus species: (i) their mechanisms of UV resistance; (ii) their survival in unmanned spacecraft, space flight and simulated space flight and Martian conditions; (iii) the UV flux in space and on Mars; (iv) factors affecting spore survival in such high UV flux environments.

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