Sep 02, 2016 09:59 AM EDT
NASA successfully conducted a complex process of sequencing DNA while in space, a process that was unprecedented.
Kate Rubins, astronaut at NASA, performed the sequencing aboard the International Space Station. The experiment was made possible by making use of a relatively small apparatus called the MinION, The Christian Science Monitor reported.
Rubins became the first to have successfully performed the operation. The invaluable data gathered, as well as techniques gained will be crucial for future space-related missions.
The compact MinION allowed the astronauts to analyze, and ultimately sequence a DNA strand while aboard the ISS, which was quite improbable till then. The new technology would be used to identify potential life form samples collected in space, according to NASA.
The successful experiment gives further assurance of the preparations being made before the higly-anticipated Mars mission, which will commence in a couple of years. NASA has stated that it is poised to send probes, as well as a habitat capable of withstanding the Red Planet's harsh atmosphere by 2024.
Meanwhile, SpaceX's Elon Musk is adamant that his aerospace company will be ready to send humans to Mars as early as 2020, with plans to send probes in 2018.
The Biomolecule Sequencer, currently aboard the ISS, will be crucial for humankind's future space endeavours. The ability to sequence macromolecules, such as DNA or the RNA, will give significant data harvested from samples from space, Phys.org.
The existence of intelligent life forms in space is still a mystery, but the prospects of gathering molds or fungi from space is bright. The essential building blocks of life has been proven to be scattered, even well within our solar system.
It may be just a matter of time, within our lifetime, to determine whether or not there has been some kind of lifeforms existed outside Earth during the early stages in the formation of our solar system.
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