Topic: Life discovered on Mars - 30 years ago?  (Read 708 times)

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Offline Nemesis

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Life discovered on Mars - 30 years ago?
« on: October 25, 2006, 07:09:44 pm »
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A flawed test on NASA’s twin Viking spacecraft may have fooled scientists into overlooking  signs of life during their examination of the Martian surface 30 years ago. Researchers now say that one of the landers’ experiments was not sensitive enough to find organic molecules in the soil, despite signs of life shown by another test.  Other researchers say the team may also have been fooled by the strange forms that Martian life might take.
The results from Vikings’ onboard experiments are confusing because some tests suggested the presence of organisms capable of digesting organic molecules. But a gas-chromatograph mass spectrometer (GCMS) found nothing when the soil was heated to release organic molecules, causing most scientists to doubt the results of the life-detection tests. Instead they put the soil reactivity down to the presence of peroxides or other reactive substances.

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Offline Vipre

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Re: Life discovered on Mars - 30 years ago?
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2006, 11:22:40 pm »
This isn't really surprising. It wouldn't be the first case of scientists forgetting or failing to remember that they don't know everything about everything. They may have overlooked something because it didn't occur to them that what they were looking for might just be something they hadn't seen before.
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Offline _Rondo_GE The OutLaw

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Re: Life discovered on Mars - 30 years ago?
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2006, 12:48:51 am »
So a good case for manned psaceflight I would say.