October 12, 2019
Picture alleged to be from NASA’s first Mars landing
The whole Mars thing is highly controversial. Some say it didn’t happen and that the landings and pictures are staged. Some say it did happen but that nothing interesting was found.
Others say it did happen and that something interesting was indeed found.
The hunt for alien life may have ended in the 1970s according to one former NASA scientists.
In an op-ed published in Scientific American titled ‘I’m Convinced We Found Evidence of Life on Mars in the 1970s’ former NASA scientist Gilbert Levin writes that a mission to Mars was the first concrete example of biological life on other planets.
‘What is the evidence against the possibility of life on Mars? The astonishing fact is that there is none,’ writes Levin.
‘Furthermore, laboratory studies have shown that some terrestrial microorganisms could survive and grow on Mars.’
Levin points to a pair of missions in 1976 when NASA sent its Viking Landers 1 and 2 to Mars – the agency’s first-ever trip to the Red Planet.
While there, the landers took several samples from the Martian soil in an attempt to search contents for signs of biological life.
One of the tests called the Labeled Release life detection experiment, which was spearheaded by Levin, involved combining martian soil samples with organic compounds and then looking for signs of carbon dioxide.
Any microorganisms that were present in the soil would have metabolized the compound and released CO2, says Levin.
Shockingly, the tests initially turned up a significant four positive results and we duplicated by both landers located 4,000 miles apart on the planet.
Despite the initial success, however, further experimentation from NASA turned up empty-handed when NASA searched for specific microorganisms.
According to the agency, the tests ‘provided no clear evidence for the presence of living microorganisms in soil near the landing sites.’
Nonetheless, Levin says evidence of alien life has been bolstered by other discoveries since the Viking missions like evidence of water and other oganice compounds and the failure of 43 subsequent studies on the finding to provide a direct explanation.
See, that is one of the reasons why we need more women in science. With female scientists, “it just happened” would have been a good enough explanation and NASA wouldn’t have had to waste money and time doing 43 studies on it.
‘In summary, we have: positive results from a widely-used microbiological test; supportive responses from strong and varied controls; duplication of the LR results at each of the two Viking sites; replication of the experiment at the two sites; and the failure over 43 years of any experiment or theory to provide a definitive nonbiological explanation of the Viking LR results,’ writes Levin.
Levin says even though evidence has pointed toward signs of life, subsequent missions to Mars since the Vikings touched down have failed to pursue the unexplained threads.
‘NASA has already announced that its 2020 Mars lander will not contain a life-detection test,’ he writes.
Here’s something to think about: if you had sent an expedition to Mars and found something interesting, would you communicate all of your findings to the rest of the world? News spreads fast. You could keep it classified in your own country if you have enough power and capacity to control what happens there, but what about other countries? Can you vouch for whatever country is supposed to be your ally?
Can you ensure that your enemies won’t hear about it?
Would you be willing to risk a race to Mars involving all of Earth’s superpowers?