Scientists have crunched the numbers and also concluded that Earth doesn’t appear to be all that special in the galaxy, let alone the universe. “There’s no place within the universe we will rule out life,” Martin Dominik, an astronomer on the College of St. Andrews in Scotland. “There’s so extremely little we will rule out.” Going again to Mars to look for life, the identical method we did back in 1976 ought to be a no brainer.
In July that yr, NASA’s Viking 1 became the second spacecraft solely to make a managed touchdown on Mars. Viking 2 touched down 4,000 miles away two months later. By Deploying on four telescoping legs, the Viking landers started working experiments.
Indeed, one of them was a model of a simple take a look at that French chemist Louis Pasteur developed within the 1860s. Submerge microbes, or a fabric you assume may assist bacteria, in a liquid broth. Because the bacteria metabolize, they’ll produce bubbles within the food — proof of their tiny little lives.
At the time of the Viking program, Levin, who is a World Conflict II veteran, was a NASA engineer. He oversaw Viking’s labeled-launch experiment. The landers scooped up some Mars soil, dumped it in a high-tech version of Pasteur’s jar of broth, and scanned for bubbles.
Viking 1 beamed its preliminary outcomes to NASA on July 30, 1976. “Amazingly, they have been optimistic,” Levin wrote. “As the experiment progressed, a complete of four optimistic results, supported by five diverse controls, streamed down from the dual Viking spacecraft landed some 4,000 miles aside,” he continued. “The info curves signaled the detection of microbial respiration on the Pink Planet. The curves from Mars were much like those produced by L.R. checks of soils on Earth. It seemed we had answered that final query.”