Traces Of Stowaway Earth Algae Could Survive On Mars, Study Finds University of Florida

Some hardy Earth microbes could survive long enough on Mars to complicate the search for alien life, according to a new study co-authored by University of Florida researchers.
Though scientists looking for life on Mars worry about contamination from stowaway spores clinging to spacecraft, the inhospitable Martian environment is actually an effective sterilizing agent: The intense ultraviolet rays that bombard the Martian surface are quickly fatal to most Earth microbes. However, the new study shows that at least one tough Earth species, a type of blue-green algae called Chroococcidiopsis, could live just long enough to leave a biological trace in the Martian soil