For the past few decades, the hunt for signs of alien life on Mars has been one of NASA’s biggest endeavors, leading to the creation of the Mars Sample Return, allowing us to study Martian samples in-depth in search of life finally. However, a running theory suggests that we already discovered life on Mars 50 years ago, but NASA killed it.
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To fully understand the theory, we have to go all the way back to the mid-1970s when NASA sent two Viking landers to the Red Planet. They were successful, and even performed the only experiment to detect life on a planet.
At the time, the results of those tests could have been clearer. As Big Think (via Freethink) notes, one part of the test showed positive results initially. However, the gas exchange experiment did not show any positive results. Further, an instrument on the Viking landers designed to detect organic compounds did not find anything but trace amounts of chlorinated organics.
While exciting, the scientists of the time assumed that because there were no organic bodies of any type, the chlorinated organics had to be contamination from Earth. Water was added to the soil in further experiments, and this undoubtedly destroyed the trace levels, leading some people to believe that NASA intentionally killed the first signs of life on Mars.
Now we know for sure that indigenous organic compounds do exist on Mars, which means those trace amounts found in the 1970s were likely not contamination from Earth. There’s really no way to know for sure if they came from Mars. But, having a fuller picture of everything we have learned about the Red Planet in the past 50 years, it certainly does appear like it could have been.
The post NASA accidentally killed the only life discovered on Mars, theory suggests appeared first on BGR.