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Ophiolite
Post  Post subject: Viking detected Martian life 35 years ago. Why mess around?  |  Posted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:10 pm
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I can go into details if anyone is interested in discussing this point. The summary is that two of the experiments on the Viking landers from the mid-1970s returned results that had been agreed before launch would be evidence for active Martian life. These results were rejected because the MSGC was unable to detect organic material. Three and a half decades have been spent, with mixed results, inventing complex regolith chemistry to account for the observations. We should have stuck with the possibility of life and aggressively pursued further investigations, not just pissed around looking for water.

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spuriousmonkey
Post  Post subject: Re: Viking detected Martian life 35 years ago. Why mess arou  |  Posted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:35 pm
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Maybe NASA and american politicians were not interesting in martian life? Water on Mars would be a strategic asset. Life on mars would be a drag.

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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: Viking detected Martian life 35 years ago. Why mess arou  |  Posted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:50 pm
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it's one of my favourite opinions that we wouldn't recognise REAL alien life even if we found it because we would try and enforce an earth-bound definition on what we consider to be life - not at a casual inspection anyway
after all, the one thing crucial to scientific experiments was missing - independent verification of samples taken under similar conditions by another team

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Dishmaster
Post  Post subject: Re: Viking detected Martian life 35 years ago. Why mess arou  |  Posted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:02 pm
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This is the first time I hear or read about this. Do you have a link or reference for this?


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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: Viking detected Martian life 35 years ago. Why mess arou  |  Posted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:16 pm
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were you looking for something like this ?

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CaptainPanic
Post  Post subject: Re: Viking detected Martian life 35 years ago. Why mess arou  |  Posted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 11:18 am
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spuriousmonkey wrote:
Maybe NASA and american politicians were not interesting in martian life? Water on Mars would be a strategic asset. Life on mars would be a drag.

Totally agree with this.
NASA also searched for water on the moon, and that has little to do with the search for life.

Water can be used to make rocket fuel (hydrogen and oxygen). It can be used to fill up buffers of water and oxygen in the spacecraft's recycles (humans need water and oxygen, and in practice there is no such thing as a 100% recycle... you always lose some).

Having a guaranteed source of water somewhere on Mars would make it a lot easier to go there and back.

Also, life on Mars would be the ultimate terraformers' nightmare. Sending Earth life to Mars could then mean that we don't kill a species... not even a biotope... but possibly all life on an entire planet. Then again, bacteria on those Viking Landers and Mars Rovers may have already started the slaughter.

marnixR wrote:
it's one of my favourite opinions that we wouldn't recognise REAL alien life even if we found it because we would try and enforce an earth-bound definition on what we consider to be life - not at a casual inspection anyway
after all, the one thing crucial to scientific experiments was missing - independent verification of samples taken under similar conditions by another team

Mandatory XKCD reference:
Image

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Zinjanthropos
Post  Post subject: Re: Viking detected Martian life 35 years ago. Why mess arou  |  Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:13 am
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It might be easier to prove Martian life if you had some physical evidence like a meteorite from the red planet containing fossils. ........I guess not.

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