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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Internationally-respected Astrobiologist Says Life is on Mars

An internationally-respected astrobiologist says there is now clear evidence of life on Mars but that American authorities are hesitating from announcing it because of legal, "political and sociological considerations."

"The discovery of liquid water on Mars combined with earlier discoveries of organic substances in a meteorite that came from Mars, and also of methane in the Martian atmosphere all point to the existence of life -- contemporary life -- on the Red Planet," Chandra Wickramasinghe, a globally renowned astrobiologist told NDTV in India.

"Firstly, if life was already detected, then there is no need to spend vast sums of money to continue the search."

"Secondly, there is a lot of scientific interest nowadays in bringing back samples of Martian soil to Earth at the cost of tens of billions of dollars, and there is a lobby that says if microbes exist on Mars we should not be doing this. It could pose a biohazard" leading to litigation to halt Mars surface exploration.

1 comment:

Barrie said...

"Firstly, if life was already detected, then there is no need to spend vast sums of money to continue the search."

I don't think this would be the public reaction at all. Instead, I think people would virtually give NASA a blank cheque to bring back hard, direct evidence of life that anyone could recognize. They would want to know the nature and extent of any life, and it's evolutionary history.

The average American would also want to know whether it can be domesticated, and does it taste like chicken. :-)