Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Why does anyone care?

Why does anyone care?
Lichen Can Survive in Space

Summary - (Nov 9, 2005) Scientists have found that hardy bacteria can survive a trip into space, and now the list of natural astronauts includes lichen. During a recent experiment by ESA, lichen astronauts were placed on board the Foton-M2 rocket and launched into space where they were exposed to vacuum, extreme temperatures and ultraviolet radiation for 14.6 days. Upon analysis, it appears that the lichens handled their spaceflight just fine, in fact, they're so hardy, it's possible they could survive on the surface of Mars.
I have no idea why anyone wants to study this, but I will defend to the death their right to do so.  Perhaps that is overstating the point, but still, it is important to understand that even research that seems pointless, may have a point after all.