One of the most interesting interplanetary spacecrafts has failed before starting its voyage to Mars. It was going to land on Phobos, dig a piece and bring it back to Earth. It also carried Earths's life for a very clever experiment.
What happens when living organisms are bombarded with cosmic radiation for years on end? We don't know, unless comic books are allowed into the discussion. But an upcoming mission will put earthling microbes in the crossfire en route to Mars.