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NASA scientist: 'We already found life on Mars'

Posted on Saturday, 12 October, 2019 | Comment icon 16 comments

Did Viking really detect evidence of life ? Image Credit: NASA / Van der Hoorn
Gilbert Levin, who worked on the two Viking landers, maintains that evidence of alien life was found in 1976.
With Curiosity still trundling around on the Martian surface and with another follow-up rover due to be launched next summer, it's easy to forget that it hasn't been that long since the idea of landing a spacecraft on the surface of Mars seemed like little more than science fiction.

NASA first accomplished this feat with its Viking landers - two ambitious robotic probes that not only succeeded in landing on the surface but even attempted to search for evidence of alien life.

One of their experiments, which aimed to find organic molecules by mixing water and nutrients with samples of the Martian soil, had initially returned promising results, but after an extensive analysis of the findings it was eventually determined that the result was most likely a false positive.

Not everyone however is convinced that this was the case.

Gilbert Levin, who worked on the Viking life detection experiments, remains adamant to this day that the results were in fact convincing evidence of biological life on the surface of Mars.

Despite being 4,000 miles apart, both Viking landers produced positive results for the Labeled Release (LR) life detection experiment with the data closely matching that from Earth-based test runs.

NASA ultimately dismissed the findings, suggesting that the experiment had in fact detected something that 'mimicked life', as oppose to actual life itself.

Levin argues that there was more to the results than the official analysis suggests and that NASA has been dragging its feet with regard to conducting repeat experiments in more recent years.

In particular, he believes that NASA has failed in its objective to seek out life on Mars.

With both ESA's ExoMars rover and NASA's Mars 2020 rover due to head to the Red Planet in the near future however, the hunt for life could in fact be about to begin in earnest.

Source: Futurism | Comments (16)

Tags: Mars, Extraterrestrial

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #7 Posted by geraldnewfie on 12 October, 2019, 17:05
Comment icon #8 Posted by skookum on 12 October, 2019, 21:56
If the experiment was so quickly deemed inconclusive why on Earth was it chosen for the mission? Seems ridiculous to include something that was known could produce false positives. †
Comment icon #9 Posted by qxcontinuum on 13 October, 2019, 1:50
For them isnt all about the end results but the mission itself. It isn't necessarily what is out there but the agency itself. Get funding, create abstract missions just to put in orbit satellites, make scientific research, etc...its all politics hence why there is so much obscurity.† †
Comment icon #10 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 13 October, 2019, 6:59
Total and utter rubbish. Any experiment is capable of giving inconclusive results. The entire point of experimentation is that, until you try it, you don't know what results you are going to get... if you did know in advance there would be no point in the experiment at all.# The results were unexpected because, at the time, no one knew what the soil chemistry of Mars was like, the high levels of percholrates in the soils which many now believe could have caused these results, were not discovered until 2008, 32 years after the Viking experiments, it was simply not possible to foresee the result... [More]
Comment icon #11 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 13 October, 2019, 7:02
Also total and utter nonsense. You are once again showing a deep lack of understanding of how science works. No scientist ever won a Noble prize for an inconclusive result. You once again mistake your own inability to understand what science is trying to achieve with that of the scientists. Just because you don't understand what they are trying to do doesn't mean that they don't either.
Comment icon #12 Posted by tortugabob on 13 October, 2019, 17:25
Waspie_Dwarf is right. If NASA had positively found life Congress would have given them all the funding they needed.† We've have a Mars colony by now.
Comment icon #13 Posted by qxcontinuum on 14 October, 2019, 4:37
I am sorry but I have not seen genuinely the excitement other agencies have shown†in these missions. I am not the only one believing that NASA's discoveries on Mars lack novelty and to some degree obscure. There are scientists and other experts pointing fingers too.† One tiny example:† There is a reason NASA's ops was overhauled.† †
Comment icon #14 Posted by Desertrat56 on 14 October, 2019, 18:04
How does something that isn't life "mimic life"?† It would be helpful to know what the actual tests were looking for.
Comment icon #15 Posted by kobolds on 15 October, 2019, 0:39
something very wrong with this people . Spent so much money and time on mars and couldn't even†find a **** . Now talking nonsense that evidence already found in 1976†
Comment icon #16 Posted by skookum on 15 October, 2019, 20:39
Glad you said this. I don't follow every step of the Rover missions. But I have to admit I have no idea what even the basic objective has become. They are due to launch a far improved model. However there is nothing announced that would make me an non-fanatical NASA follower have much interest in the mission.†

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