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Monday, January 08, 2007

NASA Found Mars Life in 1976?

Was it 'techno-blindness?' A simple mistake, perhaps? Whatever you call it, the scientific argument is being advanced now that the Viking 1 and 2 landers on the surface of Mars in 1976 found evidence of microbes of life thirty years ago. The logic, if it holds, is that planetary scientists did not understand Mars-life and the environment as well as they do today.

In an American Astronomical Society research paper released Sunday afternoon, Dr. Dirk Schulze-Makuch presented a theory that NASA was looking for Earth-like life, not Mars-like life forms.

The Washington State University astrobiology professor believes that life on Mars could have evolved there with an internal fluid consisting of a mix of water and hydrogen peroxide. Micorobe life could have evolved because a water-hydrogen peroxide mix stays liquid at very low temperatures, or -68 degrees Fahrenheit, and doesn't destroy cells when it freezes and thereupon sucks water vapor out of the atmosphere to live.

Schulze-Makuch said that NASA's Viking probes wouldn't have noticed alien hydrogen peroxide-based life and, in fact, would have killed it by drowning and overheating the microbes in the attempt to find Earth-like life forms in error. [Radio Interview on topic and New Scientist reports.]

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