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A scientist who was a member of the Viking team: the historic Mars mission did find life

  Some claim that NASA did indeed find life on Mars during the historic Viking flyby in 1977

Interest in Mars is increasing this month as the European Mars Express spacecraft was launched on Monday, and two American spacecraft are set to take off later this month. Will they finally find signs of life?
Some claim that NASA did indeed find life on Mars during the historic Viking flyby in 1976. Dr. Gil Levin, a former mission scientist, said he can now prove it, and this is just days before the US and Europe send new robotic missions to the planet the red.
The US and Russia have so far spent billions of dollars since the 1997s on the production and launch of spacecraft that landed on Mars. Only three have succeeded so far: two Viking spacecraft in the 1976s and Mars Pathfinder in XNUMX. In XNUMX, the world held its breath in excitement when robotic spacecraft landed on Mars for the first time in history. Biological experiments have discovered strange signs of activity on the Martian soil - which can be interpreted as gas emitted by bacterial activity.
Before officially announcing the news that life has been found on Mars, NASA requests to conduct additional experiments to detect organic substances.
In any case, the Viking experiments failed to find the evidence of life and the conclusion from them was that Mars is a dead planet.
Dr. Levin, one of three scientists who were responsible for the life discovery experiment never gave up the idea that Viking did find living micro-organisms on the surface of Mars.
He continued to study the results of the experiment and studied every new evidence from Mars and Earth and in 1997 he came to the conclusion, which he also published, that the experiment called LR (labeled release) did indeed reveal signs of life.
He said that the new evidence could settle the debate once and for all. ""The organic analysis devices showed an intensive activity that requires millions of micro-organisms to detect organic substances, on the other hand, the LR allows to detect even a low number of even 50 micro-organisms.
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Dr. Levin, now the president and CEO of the American biotechnology company Biosprix, proposes a new experiment that could, according to them, settle the debate, but he was rejected by both NASA and the European Space Agency, and he was not allowed to send the experiment on one of the three spacecraft that will make the month their way to mars
The British spacecraft Beagle 2, which will reach Mars as a hitchhiker aboard the European Mars Express spacecraft, is supposed to focus on the search for life. This is a dangerous strategy, claims Dr. Levin.
Oddly, despite its mandate, Beagle 2 does not carry any life-detection equipment, Levine states. Not the gcms - the organic detector that Levin claims is more sensitive than Viking's, nor equipment for isotopic analysis that can provide evidence of the existence of living things.
NASA's pair of all-terrain vehicles take a more cautious approach to the question of life. Both vehicles will roam the ancient plains of Mars and act as robotic geologists.

Mark Adler, deputy director of the project, says that the main scientific mission is to understand the water environment on Mars and not to look for life. "What we learned from Viking shows that it's hard to find a specific experiment that will look for something that we don't know exactly how to find."
Claims for life on Mars are the subject of a long debate. Twenty years after Viking, a microbe-like structure was found inside a meteorite that came from Mars and landed in Antarctica and this claim was later rejected.
As the late astronomer Carl Sagan already said, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and there is no reason to believe that anything will be different this time.
"Several missions will be needed if we want to know whether there is life on Mars or not," said Dr. Charles Cockle, a marine biologist at the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge. "If we don't find any evidence of life on Mars, we may have been looking in the wrong place."

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