NASA may have destroyed the proof of organic molecule on the red planet 40 years ago

NASA, Mars, evidence of life

Discovery of life on the red planet is one of the biggest achievements so far in the history, NASA has spent so many on finding proof for this discovery. In 1970 they make their first attempt to discover the traces of existence of life on Mars , but according to a new research paper, instrument which was used by NASA to examine the samples of soli of martian surface, might have accidentally destroyed the proof, which was hoping to discover many new mysteries about existence of life on the red planet.

The paper, which was published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, its main focus is on  Viking Program which was successful in landing a pair of spacecraft on the red planet back in 1976. The spacecraft was designed in a way so that they can help in analyzing the soil of the Martian surface and to identify the organic molecules that find out about the existence of life a long time ago on Mars. But the things didn’t go so well and became wrong from this part.

Lead author of this paper suggested that when the samples were heated by the  Viking landers so that they can analyze the vapours coming from the samples, but accidentally they create ignition. In 2008, researchers found Perchlorate, which is a type of combustible salt found on the mars but it was discovered many years after the Viking landers perform their analysis on soil samples. The paper proposes that it is might possible that the samples were accidentally burned by the Viking landers during the time of testing.

As points out by Tech Times that during the time when landers transmit their readings back to earth they were lacking the evidence of organic life. Due to this the result of the new analysis was affected, later the missions to the mars found the traces of the organic molecules but they were not mentioned in the data given by Viking landers, maybe because they accidentally destroyed the samples, that were meant for examining.

Scientists still can’t say with utter certainty whether life ever existed on Mars. Discovery of the organic molecules on the Martian surface is a big indicator but there are also many other natural processes that could have produced them without really ensuring in life, and this all prevent anyone from declaring the fact that it is proven that life existed on the red planet. Still, we are getting closer to discover new evidence but if Viking could have saved the proof a long time ago, then we did not have to wait for so long, in again finding it.


Tags: evidence of life, Mars, NASA

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