Life was found on Mars more than 4 decades ago, claims former NASA scientist
Gilbert V. Levin, who was the principal investigator on NASA Viking missions to Mars in the 1970s, recently said that he thinks life was discovered in the form of "microbial respiration" as early as 1976
While some people in the world still wonder about the existence of aliens, a former NASA scientist has now claimed that life was found on Mars decades ago.
Gilbert V. Levin, who was the principal investigator on NASA's Viking missions to Mars in the 1970s, recently said that he thinks life was discovered in the form of "microbial respiration" as early as 1976.
"I was fortunate to have participated in that historic adventure as an experimenter of the Labeled Release (LR) life detection experiment on NASA's spectacular Viking mission to Mars in 1976," he wrote in a piece published on the Scientific American.
After the initial positive result on soil samples was brought back, a total of four positive results followed which were "supported by five varied controls, streamed down from the twin Viking spacecraft that landed some 4,000 miles apart."
These samples had the same test results as those conducted on Earth's samples. Extreme heat was applied to the samples further, to see if the microbes would die.
"It seemed we had answered that ultimate question,” wrote Levin. However, NASA had concluded that the mission had found something that mimicked life and not life itself because of the absence of organic matter.
He also said that the planets had been "swapping spit" for a while, echoing the words of NASA scientist Chris McKay.
This means that when either Earth or Mars came in contact with a comet or a meteorite, some amount of material shoots into space. This ejecta comes in contact with one of them and transfers to it like "microbiological hitch-hikers."
"That some Earth microbial species could survive the Martian environment has been demonstrated in many laboratories. There are even reports of the survival of microorganisms exposed to naked space outside the International Space Station (ISS)," he wrote.
After the positive test results, there have been none conducted to follow up on the findings for more than four decades. Its 2020 Mars lander will also not conduct the life detection test.
Urging experts to look at the data from Viking LR, Levin said, "Such an objective jury might conclude, as I did, that the Viking LR did find life. In any event, the study would likely produce important guidance for NASA's pursuit of its holy grail."