GENERICO.ruScienceScientists will conduct an experiment to create the “building blocks” of life on the Moon

Scientists will conduct an experiment to create the “building blocks” of life on the Moon

MOSCOW, November 2. Russian scientists will conduct an experiment on the Bion-M2 biosatellite, during which they will try to clarify whether amino acids, carboxylic acids, nucleic bases and sugars could form in outer space, said Vyacheslav Ilyin, head of the laboratory of human microbial ecology at the Institute of Biomedical Problems (IMBP) of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
“The Astrobio experiment … now has the opportunity to see how real this is in a real space flight,” Ilyin said at the institute’s scientific council.

He clarified that the organizers of the experiment, the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR), had previously carried out research under terrestrial conditions together with the Sapienza University of Rome in which formamide (formic acid amide) was bombarded with heavy particles. As a result, formamide formed various types of organics, including polymolecular organics.

The Vernadsky Institute of Geochemistry and Analytical Chemistry (GEOKHI) will also take part in the space experiment; its employees will provide material simulating lunar soil so that one can see how similar processes would take place on the Earth’s natural satellite.
As detailed in the presentation presented by Ilyin, during the experiment, scientists intend to establish the possibility of forming complex compounds in outer space and compare the data obtained with the results of previous experiments.
According to one of the most common hypotheses about the origin of life on Earth, amino acids and other simple organic compounds are the “building blocks” from which living organisms later emerged.
During the Bion program, from 1973 to 1996, 11 satellites were launched into orbit with plants and animals on board, including rats and monkeys. In the 21st century, the program was resumed; in 2013, the modernized Bion-M1 flew, and the Bion-M2 is expected to fly in July 2024.

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