The lack of life on Mars has remained a huge obstacle in the hopes for astronaut missions on Mars, but scientists have cultivated cyanobacteria that may change the way we look at potential life on the Red Planet. On February 16th, Researchers in Germany published a journal article describing the development of a new bioreactor capable of growing Anabaena cyanobacteria using only water, gases and nutrients available on Mars. Cyanobacteria is a microorganism that is related to bacteria and is capable of photosynthesis; they also are among the earlier life forms on Earth. This means that potentially astronauts would be able to use organisms that feed off of this bacteria and would be able to cultivate it with the naturally occurring resources on Mars. This would free up space on the spacecraft and also minimize cost and preparation time. However, the Martian atmosphere poses a major obstacle because it is extremely different from life on earth and this means the cyanobacteria must be tested for durability. Atmospheric pressure on Mars is less than 1% of Earth’s, this means that it is too low for liquid water to exist. Also the partial pressure of nitrogen gas—0.2 to 0.3 hPa—is too low for fixation. Due to this, the gears have shifted to trying not to recreate an earth-like, but martian atmosphere for the research towards supporting life on Mars. Cyanobacteria marks itself as an ideal candidate because of its ability for photosynthesis. Some cyanobacteria can even create nutrients from atmospheric nitrogen, a process called nitrogen fixation (when bacteria convert free nitrogen to ammonia). This would be extremely useful in ensuring a stable environment for the bacteria.