Is there life on Mars? For most astronomers, this may be the ultimate question. Humanity doesn’t possess for the moment the necessary tools to seek for life outside our own Solar System; therefore, those over 4,000 exoplanets found by telescopes will remain unexplored. As for the planets from our own Solar System, Mars remains the only potential candidate for hosting life, besides Earth. Mercury and Venus are way too hot for life to develop there, and the other ones (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune) don’t even have solid surfaces.
Pluto doesn’t even qualify as a planet since it’s too small. It’s also hard to believe we can find anything living there because the temperatures are way below zero, due to the huge distance from the Sun (3,670,050,000 miles or 5,906,380,000 kilometers as the average distance). Another chance would be to find alien life on one of the moons like those “owned” by Jupiter and Saturn, which are numerous.
Gilbert Levin brings the long-awaited staggering news
Levin claims humanity has already been encountered extraterrestrial life on Mars since over four decades ago, when the Viking mission of NASA made possible the roaming of the Red Planet by space probes Viking 1 and Viking 2. Well, the probes didn’t find little green men with big black eyes and six arms each, but only what is believed to be microbial respiration.
Gilbert Levin is an engineer and inventor who was the principal investigator of the LR experiment (Labeled Release life detection experiment) on the Viking missions.
The discovery made over four decades ago, in 1976, should have been front-page news on all newspapers, but it didn’t because the Viking Molecular Analysis Experiment never detected any organic material. Therefore, NASA concluded that the findings were only mimicking life rather than representing evidence for the existence of life on the Red Planet.
Why didn’t NASA insisted on the 43-year-old discovery?
“Inexplicably, over the 43 years since Viking, none of NASA’s subsequent Mars landers has carried a life-detection instrument to follow up on these exciting results,” Levin said for Scientific American. “Instead, the agency launched a series of missions to Mars to determine whether there was ever a habitat suitable for life and, if so, eventually to bring samples to Earth for biological examination.”
Will humanity ever find life on our neighboring planet? Perhaps we’ll finally send people there in the near future, so we can say for sure that life exists on Mars even for a short amount of time.
Doris’s passion for writing started to take shape in college where she was editor-in-chief of the college newspaper. Even though she ended up working in IT for more than 7 years, she’s now back to what he always enjoyed doing. With a true passion for technology, Doris mostly covers tech-related topics.