in a Portuguese TV channel web site is claiming that a group of NASA scientists along with a Mexican group from UNAM are studying the possibility of sometime in the future planting a special species of pine trees (that grows on the Orizaba Mountain in Mexico) on Mars.
This species of pine trees grows at 5000 meters altitude, in extreme cold and in an atmosphere which bears very low levels of oxygen. Apparently these trees serve as hosts to a particular species of bacteria that helps them survive in such harsh conditions (the article doesn't go so far as to explain what kind of exchange between tree and bacteria goes on, but hints that the bacteria are able to provide nutrients to the trees).
Anyone knows anything regarding this? The site is reliable, but is probably getting this news from a news agency or other news organization.
Apparently these trees survive in extreme cold and very low oxygen. There is one remaining problem though: very few water on Mars.
Does anyone suppose that if (big if) these trees could indeed survive the harsh conditions of mars and if (another big if) there was some liquid water beneath the surface of mars, available to the roots of these trees, we could have a pine tree on mars?? :shock:
I find it a bit hard to believe, but it sure would be nice