Now the leading space Agency in the world full swing preparing its Mars program to study the red Planet. Soon will start the mission Mars 2020, which aims to study the Martian surface and finding what they’re talking about for many decades, scientists and science fiction writers — of life beyond our planet. However, one former NASA scientist in his blog, written specifically for the magazine Scientific American said that traces of life were found on Mars for quite some time — over 40 years ago.
Is there life on Mars?
A definite answer to this question is, unfortunately, not yet. However, a senior NASA researcher Gilbert Levin, along with his colleagues in the experiment, the Labeled Release in the second half of 1970-ies in the samples of Martian soil found, in his words, evidence of traces of life on Mars. The soil was undertaken in the framework of the program “Viking”. In a nutshell, the program “Viking” included the launch of two spacecraft — “Viking-1 and Viking-2”, which was to conduct research as the orbit and surface of the fourth planet from the Sun, and the search for life in soil samples.
But how did you detect the presence of life? According to Mr. Levin, the Labeled Release experiment was based on experience, proposed in 1864 by the famous biologist Louis Pasteur. A few centuries ago, European scientists noticed that if germs give you the opportunity to multiply in nutrient solution on the surface of this solution will appear in gas bubbles. On Mars, this experiment lasted seven days (Louie’s just a few hours). That is in fact is a test for the presence of bacterial metabolism, which indirectly indicates their presence. The only thing that can give lozhnopolojitelnaya reaction is a chemical processes like boiling nutrient solution. At least, in experiments on Earth was so. But in order to avoid this, in the framework of the experience was added to control the ambient temperature and mortar to prevent overheating.
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And as a result, the gas bubbles were indeed fixed. However, subsequent molecular analyses failed to detect any organic matter in the soil sample, and NASA experts concluded that the Labeled Release experiment allowed to find “substance that imitates life, but it is not”. How do you think it could be? To Express their assumptions in our chat in Telegram. While none of the subsequent apparatuses, vysazhivaetsya on Mars, was not equipped with devices able to detect the presence of life that is called “here and now”. For this you need to take soil samples, and analyze later. Moreover, Gilbert Levin notes that the new Rover, which will go to Mars in 2020, also does not have such tools. So the possibility of finding life there standard ways remains a big question. Do you agree with the opinion of a former expert of NASA?