• Question: Since it is suspected that life on Earth originated from a comet, do you think it could happen to other planets, and hopefully bring life to Mars?

    Asked by CJ to Anne, Beth, COLFlight, Jon, Tom on 12 Oct 2015.
    • Photo: Beth Healey

      Beth Healey answered on 12 Oct 2015:

      Hi, CJ! This is Adrianos from Greece, I am Beth’s predecessor as a research doctor for the European Space Agency in Antarctica and I am filling in for her today due to connectivity problems over there.

      What you refer to is called the “Panspermia” theory and is very interesting indeed. If there was ever life on Mars, it could be the result of bacteria in comets, same possibility as for Earth. And yes, there could be always a chance i think that another comet carrying life strikes a planet like Mars. However, this chance is very small. You would have to find the right comet, carrying the right life form and ending up at the right planet (which can support this life form). And this ideal comet should not miss its ideal, tiny target, in such a vast area as our solar system is. I believe there’s a much greater chance that we humans bring life again to Mars if we work together and think in the long term 🙂

    • Photo: Columbus Flight Directors

      Columbus Flight Directors answered on 13 Oct 2015:

      Simon: Hi CJ I think Adrianos has pretty well answered the question… but I have two of my own (see the comments section):