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Significant amounts of different perchlorate salts have been discovered on the surface of Mars. Here, the authors show that magnesium perchlorate has a major impact on water structure in solution, providing insight into how an aqueous fluid might exist under the sub-freezing conditions present on Mars.
The Eridania basin on Mars was once the site of a vast inland sea. Here, the authors show that the most ancient materials in the Eridania basin were formed in a deep-water hydrothermal setting and may be an analogue for early environmental conditions on Earth.
Our inventory of the molecular universe is continually progressing. Our understanding of the astrochemistry behind it will flourish if we are mindful of funding experimental and theoretical efforts as well as observational.
We asked microbiologist and NASA astronaut Kate Rubins about her time on the International Space Station, the challenges of working with bugs in space, and what's next for science that is out of this world.
From roles in the health, nutrition and performance of humans during spaceflight, through to the question of life on other worlds, microbiology has fundamental contributions to make to our exploration of the cosmos.