The Viking mission was one of the NASA experiments, and it occurred forty years ago, back in 1976. There were two spacecraft that reached the Red Planet, and they were called Viking 1, and Viking 2. Now, two researchers, Dr. Straat and Dr. Levin, who used to work at the project, claim that the samples gathered by the probes should be reexamined and submitted to new tests.
The Viking mission was supposed to search for signs of alien forms of life on Mars. The spacecraft documented into the biology of the Red Planet and provided researchers with soil samples. Further lab tests were carried out on the soil samples.
One of the tests run by researchers involved nutrients in the water. What the scientists did was mix the Martian soil with water rich in nutrients. Their aim was to observe if the nutrients can serve as an energy source for any microscopical forms of life hidden in the alien soil. The fact that the nutrients in the water were actually metabolized came as a surprise even to scientists.
However, there were two other tests run with the help of the Viking mission. Despite the success of the first one, the ones that followed showed no clues on alien forms of life on the Red Planet. Moreover, the spacecraft didn’t even found evidence of organic material. The lack of organisms puzzled scientists, because, without them, the metabolization process can’t occur.
Now, forty years later, researchers claim that the first experiment requires additional investigation. Their initial conclusion was that non-biological phenomena must have lead to the process of metabolization. However, now they have reconsidered. They think they shouldn’t exclude the possibility of alien life on the Red Plant before running further tests.
The two scientists don’t state that the Viking mission came upon signs of life on Mars in 1976. Nevertheless, they should bear in mind the possibility and reanalyze the existing data.
A new study on the Viking mission was published in Astrobiology. The authors of the review state that further discoveries made about Mars can stand as proof of their theory. They believe that the existence of methane gas and water are clear evidence of some organic elements existing on the Red Planet.
The claims of Dr. Straat and Dr. Levin challenge experts in the scientific community to reinterpret old data and correct potential errors.
Image courtesy of: Wikipedia