NASA's Viking robots found life on Mars 36 years ago

   Apr 13, 12:53 pm

Washington, April 13 (ANI): A new analysis of 36-year-old data, resuscitated from printouts, shows that NASA found life on Mars, an international team of mathematicians and scientists have revealed.

The analysis was based on studying the mathematically complexity of the results of a life-detection experiment conducted by NASA's Viking Mars robots in 1976.

The idea is that living systems are more complicated than purely physical ones, a concept that can be represented mathematically.

Further, NASA doesn't need a human expedition to Mars to nail down the claim, neuropharmacologist and biologist Joseph Miller, with the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, told Discovery News.

"The ultimate proof is to take a video of a Martian bacteria. They should send a microscope-watch the bacteria move," Miller said.

"On the basis of what we've done so far, I'd say I'm 99 percent sure there's life there," he added.

Researchers crunched raw data collected during runs of the Labeled Release experiment, which looked for signs of microbial metabolism in soil samples scooped up and processed by the two Viking landers.

General consensus of scientists has been that the experiment found geological, not biological, activity.

The new study took a different approach. Researchers distilled the Viking Labeled Release data, provided as hard copies by the original researchers, into sets of numbers and analyzed the results for complexity.

Since living systems are more complicated than non-biological processes, the idea was to look at the experiment results from a purely numerical perspective.

They found close correlations between the Viking experiment results' complexity and those of terrestrial biological data sets. They say the high degree of order is more characteristic of biological, rather than purely physical processes.

Critics counter that the method has not yet been proven effective for differentiating between biological and non-biological processes on Earth so it's premature to draw any conclusions.

"Ideally to use a technique on data from Mars one would want to show that the technique has been well calibrated and well established on Earth. The need to do so is clear; on Mars we have no way to test the method, while on Earth we can," planetary scientist and astrobiologist Christopher McKay, with NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., told Discovery News.

While not iron-clad, Miller noted the findings are an additional plank of evidence challenging the popularly contention that Viking did not find life.

He also is reanalysing the data to see if there are variations when sunlight was blocked by a weeks-long dust storm on Mars, with the idea being that biological systems would have acted differently to the environmental change than geologic ones. Results of the research are expected to be presented in August.

Findings of the new analysis are published online in the International Journal of Aeronautical and Space Sciences. (ANI)

Is lemon juice new environmental-friendly solution for space designers? Sep 21, 11:00 am
London, Sep 21 (ANI): ESA's Clean Space initiative, tasked with reducing the space industry's environmental impact on Earth and space, are planning to investigate new environmental-friendly methods like "lemon juice" for corrosion resistance and high strength stainless steel in order to make it an essential material for satellite and rocket designers.
Full Story
Milky Way galaxy expanded by devouring smaller counterparts Sep 20, 12:56 am
Washington, Sept 20 (ANI): A new study has revealed that massive galaxies have stopped making their own stars and are instead "eating" nearby galaxies and our Milky Way galaxy has grown by doing the same.
Full Story
Shrink-wrapping 'second skin' spacesuits come closer to reality Sep 20, 12:56 am
Washington, Sept 20 (ANI): A new research has revealed about the future spacesuits that may be a lightweight stretchy garment lined with tiny muscle-like coils to contract and essentially shrink-wrap the garment around astronauts' body in response to heat.
Full Story
Uranus' icy moon Miranda experiences intense resurfacing from tidal heating Sep 19, 6:31 am
Washington, Sept 19 (ANI): A new study has revealed that the icy moon of Uranus, Miranda, has experienced an episode of intense resurfacing from tidal heating.
Full Story
Comments

LATEST STORIES
TOP VIDEO STORIES
PHOTO GALLERY