Friday September 21, 2018
Home Lead Story NASA Discover...

NASA Discovered Evidence of Life on Mars 40 Years Ago, Then Set It On Fire

Nasa's Viking landers were sent to Mars to search for possible signs of life and study the physical and magnetic properties of the soil and atmosphere

0
//
18
NASA
NASA's new website shows how space tech impacts people's day-to-day lives. Flickr
Republish
Reprint

It may sound a bit bizarre but a NASA probe may have accidentally destroyed organic molecules found on the surface of Mars more that 40 years ago, according to a report from New Scientist.

The US space agency in June announced that its robot explorer Curiosity found organic molecules in rocks formed three billion years ago — a discovery that could indicate that there was life on the Red Planet at that time.

However, in 1976, NASA’s twin Viking landers conducted the first experiments that searched for organic matter on the Red Planet.

“Because small, carbon-rich meteorites so frequently pelt the Red Planet, scientists have suspected for decades that organics exist on Mars.

“But researchers were stunned in 1976, when NASA sent two Viking landers to Mars to search for organics for the first time and found absolutely none,” the report said late on Wednesday.

“It was just completely unexpected and inconsistent with what we knew,” Chris McKay, Planetary Scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center, was quoted as saying.

NASA’s Phoenix lander found perchlorate, a type of salt mainly used for propellants and in making fireworks, on Mars in 2008.

“The discovery of perchlorate reignited scientists’ convictions that the Viking landers could have found organics on Mars,” the report noted.

Mars
Representational Image, Pixabay

Among organic molecules that Curiosity recently found included chlorobenzene.

“This molecule is created when carbon molecules burn with perchlorate, so scientists suspect that it could have been created when the soil samples were burnt during Viking exploration,” said the report.

In a separate study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, a team from LATMOS research centre in France revisited the Viking lander data.

They found that the Viking landers also detected chlorobenzene.

According to Melissa Guzman, a scientist at LATMOS research centre, while the findings are interesting, the chlorobenzene may have come from material carried on the probe from Earth.

But some researchers are convinced.

Also Read: Sharp Intrigue in La Liga

“This paper really seals the deal,” Daniel Glavin, astrobiologist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre who was not involved in the study, was quoted as saying.

Nasa’s Viking landers were sent to Mars to search for possible signs of life and study the physical and magnetic properties of the soil and atmosphere.

The probes continued their mission until the final transmission to Earth on November 11, 1982 (Viking 1) and April 11, 1980 (Viking 2). (IANS)

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2018 NewsGram

Next Story

NASA Launches Interactive Website Letting Users Explore In What Ways Space Technology Impacts Their Everyday Life

The US agency's collaboration with commercial companies has helped bring space technology back to Earth for over 50 years

0
NASA
NASA's new website shows how space tech impacts people's day-to-day lives. Flickr

NASA has launched a new interactive website that lets users explore how space technology impacts everyday life on Earth.

The new website, called NASA Home and City, features about 130 spinoff technologies in a virtual space, allowing users to tour through buildings and rooms to discover common items that NASA inspired or helped improve, the agency said in a statement on Tuesday.

These spinoffs are commercial products that apply NASA technology originally developed for studying and exploring space.

“Introducing NASA Home and City! A brand new interactive website where you can explore all the ways NASA benefits you in your daily life,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, said in a tweet.

“From GPS to airplanes, from baby formula to the camera in your phone, NASA technology is all around you!” he added.

NASA
This is NASA’s Latest innovation. Pixabay

The US agency’s collaboration with commercial companies has helped bring space technology back to Earth for over 50 years.

These range from water filtration systems, originally designed to purify water for the Apollo astronauts to durable wind turbines, designed with Mars in mind to the selfie taking camera, the report said.

Also read- Apple CEO Tim Cook: “New iPhones Worth The Cost”

“Our space technology continues to improve life on Earth,” said Jim Reuter, the acting associate administrator of NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate.

“NASA Home and City is a place of discovery for people, and especially students, who have ever wondered why space exploration should matter to them,” Reuter noted. (IANS)