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Thu Apr 12, 2012, 05:44 PM

 

Viking Robots Found Life on Mars in 1976! Scientists release new analysis of Mars probe data.

Viking robots found life on Mars in 1976, scientists say
Researchers put data into sets of numbers, then analyzed the results for complexity
By Irene Klotz
April 12, 2012


New analysis of 36-year-old data, resuscitated from printouts, shows that NASA found life on Mars, an international team of mathematicians and scientists conclude in a paper published this week.

Further, NASA doesn't need a human expedition to Mars to nail down the claim, neuropharmacologist and biologist Joseph Miller, with the University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine, told Discovery News.

"The ultimate proof is to take a video of a Martian bacteria. They should send a microscope watch the bacteria move," Miller said.

"On the basis of what we've done so far, I'd say I'm 99 percent sure there's life there," he added.

Read the full article at:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47031923/ns/technology_and_science-science/


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Life Possible On 'Large Regions' of Mars
With higher pressures and warmer temperatures beneath the Martian surface, Earth-like microorganisms could thrive.
December 12, 2011


Australian scientists who modeled conditions on Mars to examine how much of the Red Planet was habitable said that "large regions" could sustain life.

Charley Lineweaver's team, from the Australian National University, compared models of temperature and pressure conditions on Earth with those on Mars to estimate how much of the distant planet was livable for Earth-like organisms.

"What we tried to do, simply, was take almost all of the information we could and put it together and say 'is the big picture consistent with there being life on Mars?'," the astrobiologist told AFP on Monday.

"And the simple answer is yes... There are large regions of Mars that are compatible with terrestrial life."

Read the full article at:

http://news.discovery.com/space/mars-life-habitability-regions-111212.htmlViking

42 replies, 4300 views

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Arrow 42 replies Author Time Post
Reply Viking Robots Found Life on Mars in 1976! Scientists release new analysis of Mars probe data. (Original post)
Better Believe It Apr 2012 OP
OriginalGeek Apr 2012 #1
ellie Apr 2012 #24
hifiguy Apr 2012 #2
dipsydoodle Apr 2012 #3
Lydia Leftcoast Apr 2012 #4
jeff47 Apr 2012 #15
TheWraith Apr 2012 #5
randome Apr 2012 #6
Fumesucker Apr 2012 #7
Bruce Wayne Apr 2012 #12
originalpckelly Apr 2012 #20
Peregrine Apr 2012 #8
DCBob Apr 2012 #9
sofa king Apr 2012 #31
DCBob Apr 2012 #32
sofa king Apr 2012 #33
lovuian Apr 2012 #35
DCBob Apr 2012 #37
DavidDvorkin Apr 2012 #10
DCBob Apr 2012 #14
DavidDvorkin Apr 2012 #17
DCBob Apr 2012 #25
DavidDvorkin Apr 2012 #26
DCBob Apr 2012 #28
bananas Apr 2012 #29
DCBob Apr 2012 #30
jakeXT Apr 2012 #11
hughee99 Apr 2012 #13
Marrah_G Apr 2012 #16
The Straight Story Apr 2012 #18
originalpckelly Apr 2012 #22
Warren DeMontague Apr 2012 #38
EOTE Apr 2012 #40
Warren DeMontague Apr 2012 #42
Typical NYC Lib Apr 2012 #19
originalpckelly Apr 2012 #21
Swede Apr 2012 #23
ellisonz Apr 2012 #27
DavidDvorkin Apr 2012 #34
Aerows Apr 2012 #36
Warren DeMontague Apr 2012 #39
Better Believe It Apr 2012 #41

Response to Better Believe It (Original post)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 05:46 PM

1. STOP!

it's Bowie time

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Response to OriginalGeek (Reply #1)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 09:12 PM

24. ! The first thing I thought of!

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Response to Better Believe It (Original post)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 05:47 PM

2. I welcome our future Martian overlords.

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Response to Better Believe It (Original post)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 05:48 PM

3. Bacteria can withstand extremes of temperature almost beyond our comprehension.

Some don't even need oxygen so nothing would surprise me.

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Response to Better Believe It (Original post)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 05:51 PM

4. I remember that Mars expedition

One of my roommates at the time was a graduate student in cell biology.

She was all excited when news reports came in saying that the probe had found evidence of life on Mars.

But then, within a day or two, the news reports were, "Oh, we spoke too soon. We misinterpreted the chemical data."

So now they're saying that they did find evidence of life after all?

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #4)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 06:34 PM

15. Not really - depends on how you look at the data.

The data can be analyzed one way to show life, and another to not show life. These articles are more-or-less going back to the initial analysis that got everyone so excited. That doesn't disprove the 2nd analysis.

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Response to Better Believe It (Original post)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 05:54 PM

5. Sigh.

They've "discovered life on Mars" about 50 times or so now. I'm not saying it's impossible or even implausible, hell I'd like it to be true. But the reality is that there is still no hard evidence of it, only extrapolation. And extrapolation isn't evidence.

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Response to Better Believe It (Original post)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 05:55 PM

6. We have spent decades and billions of dollars 'proving' the same thing over and over.

For Christ's sake, send some astronauts to do some proper experiments!

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Response to randome (Reply #6)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 05:59 PM

7. We'd have a hard time getting back to the Moon in a decade..

Mars?

Not gonna happen any time soon.

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Response to randome (Reply #6)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 06:30 PM

12. Holy Heisenberg! If you send astronauts there *OF COURSE* there'll be life. Duh!

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Response to randome (Reply #6)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 08:51 PM

20. Actually, that would be the worst thing to do.

They have to prove that this isn't life from Earth that was brought along with the spacecraft.

I think I remember hearing that's what they thought it was all along.

But introducing actual life from Earth on purpose would fuck it all up. Humans are teaming with bacteria that would fuck up any samples.

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Response to Better Believe It (Original post)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 05:59 PM

8. No human expedition needed to nail down the claim

Well I think it would be nice to be able to have samples of these microbes that few speak of to investigate. Are they RNA/DNA based or something different. Did Mars meteorites seed the Earth, or did our probes seed Mars?

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Response to Better Believe It (Original post)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 06:05 PM

9. I used to work for guy who was the principal on the original Viking label release experiment.

Dr. Gilbert Levin. He was an odd ball mad scientist type but I always thought his experiment was correct. I reviewed the data thoroughly and it looked legit to me. I am PhD biologist.

This gives me some pleasure in that he might finally be vindicated after all these years. He was a bit of an asshole at times but he was scientific genius. Many owe this man an apology.

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Response to DCBob (Reply #9)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 08:01 AM

31. I asked my old man about him.

I think you mentioned him the last time this subject came up, maybe five years ago or so? Pops doesn't remember Levin, but that's probably because my dad was a sub-contractor whose job it was to cram a chemistry lab into a shoe-box.

Dad has always been perfectly confident in the device itself and the results it reported. Long ago now, I remember him saying that thanks to miniaturization, a new LR experiment which would fit in a cigarette box could have been fitted to any of the half-dozen craft which have safely made landfall on Mars since Viking, but, he says, NASA does not wish to repeat the experiment.

Add to that recent papers which suggest that Earth itself has already sent tons of material with life on it to every moon and planet in our own solar system, and even to other stars, and it's beginning to look like the search for life is about to become the search for shadows of our former selves.

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Response to sofa king (Reply #31)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 08:07 AM

32. Yes, it is very possible we are contaminating the solar system with our own bacteria.

However, the Viking was the first to land on Mars so those bugs, if real, are most likely natives.

I also remember Levin talking about space and weight limitations being the most difficult issue to deal with in designing the LR experiment. That must have been some fun challenges though. I would have loved to have been involved.

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Response to DCBob (Reply #32)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 09:35 AM

33. You ought to see him pack a suitcase!

The thing that's blowing my mind this week is that researchers in Japan are now calculating that the asteroid which whacked the dinosaurs 65 my ago launched billions of tons of life-covered pieces of earth at escape velocity, many tons of which have long since escaped solar orbit entirely and are now on their way elsewhere.

Other observers are now suggesting that since this process is hardly unique, the chances that Earth has been visited by similarly ejected life from alien solar systems approaches one.

After the Apollo 12 mission returned a camera from the Surveyor 3 probe and researchers found bacteria in it, space scientists have been worried about contamination of spacecraft and whether our spacecraft have been unwittingly colonizing Mars. But now, it looks like Earth has already rained literally tons of life-bearing material everywhere in the solar system and even beyond.

So now I'm wondering if the "search for extraterrestrial life" just fractured along a fault line between "earth-based extraterrestrial life" and "alien-based extraterrestrial life," and even if my old man is vindicated, the debate may still rage as to whether or not those bugs' origins were in-place on Mars, or from Earth 65 million years ago, or from another major collision on Earth before or after that one.

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Response to DCBob (Reply #9)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 02:01 PM

35. Did you ever think his work was suppressed

and that the government didn't feel it was time for the world to know
that extraterrestrial life could exist on other planets

that the religious community couldn't handle the truth

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Response to lovuian (Reply #35)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 02:14 PM

37. I think it was more "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence".

As Carl Sagan famously said many years ago.

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Response to Better Believe It (Original post)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 06:16 PM

10. I worked on the Viking missions

By the time they landed, I had been laid off.

Aah, the aerospace biz!

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Response to DavidDvorkin (Reply #10)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 06:33 PM

14. Did you know Gil Levin?

Even though you were laid off that must have been a fantastic experience.

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Response to DCBob (Reply #14)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 08:17 PM

17. The name doesn't sound familiar

But I do have a terrible memory.

I worked on the software that calculated the deorbit burn and also on error analysis for the landing. Nothing hardware related.

Being laid off created a serious financial problem for us. Fortunately, I was able to move in to computer programming, and then I was okay. But now I can look back on my part in it all with pleasure. Same thing for the Apollo missions, which I worked on at NASA/Houston before moving to Denver to work on the Viking missions. It was all a long time ago, but those two jobs were the only truly important work I've ever done. All the rest was a matter of getting a paycheck and, for the most part, helping some rich people get richer.

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Response to DavidDvorkin (Reply #17)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 09:16 PM

25. He was the lead investigator for the labeled release experiment as I mentioned in an earlier post.

I have not talked with him for over ten years but it sounds like he is still very active in proving his experiment found life. I think he is right and may finally be getting the credit he deserves.

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Response to DCBob (Reply #25)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 12:55 AM

26. Where did he work?

I was at Martin Marietta in Denver, with a brief stint at JPL.

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Response to DavidDvorkin (Reply #26)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 05:41 AM

28. He was independent but he worked with the folks at JPL.

His lab at the time was in Maryland/DC area.

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Response to DCBob (Reply #28)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 06:23 AM

29. Gil Levin has two websites

There have been several re-analysis of the Viking data over the years,
he's kept a webpage on his company website at http://mars.spherix.com/mars.html

He also has a website at http://www.gillevin.com/

And of course there's a wikipedia page for him http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gilbert_Levin

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Response to bananas (Reply #29)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 06:29 AM

30. Thanks bananas.

I have not kept up with him lately. BTW, I was involved in his first website on the LR experiment back in the 90s. I am giving my identity away for those that know about this.

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Response to Better Believe It (Original post)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 06:26 PM

11. perchlorate ?


"The lack of organics was a big surprise from the Vikings," McKay said. "But for 30 years we were looking at a jigsaw puzzle with a piece missing. Phoenix has provided the missing piece: perchlorate. The perchlorate discovery by Phoenix was one of the most important results from Mars since Viking." Perchlorate, an ion of chlorine and oxygen, becomes a strong oxidant when heated. "It could sit there in the Martian soil with organics around it for billions of years and not break them down, but when you heat the soil to check for organics, the perchlorate destroys them rapidly," McKay said.
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2010-286

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Response to Better Believe It (Original post)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 06:30 PM

13. Good old viking robots.

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Response to Better Believe It (Original post)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 06:50 PM

16. That headline is MISLEADING!!!!

I wanted a story about how Vikings built robots for plundering Mars.........

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Response to Better Believe It (Original post)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 08:39 PM

18. Life outside of earth is a lot like ghosts

It does not exist unless we look for it first and since I don't believe it is possible I don't think we should spend a dime wasting time on it....

There, now I feel like other folks who decide what can and cannot exist and won't accept it does until there is proof but won't look for proof and ridicule others who try to.

And not only should it be peer reviewed (which is never ever wrong) it should be subject to a DU jury.

Then, and only then, will I accept it (and hopefully, someone will post the results in H&M).



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Response to The Straight Story (Reply #18)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 08:58 PM

22. The problem is that the media frenzy will almost certainly...

obscure what actually really is happening here.

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Response to The Straight Story (Reply #18)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 02:20 PM

38. Oh, for fuck's sake.

Yes. Because every assertion is exactly the same- regardless of any logic (or lack thereof) underlying the premise.... life on other planets based upon chemistry similar to that here on Earth, and, say, magic, breakfast cereal-stealing leprechauns. Totally reasonable to conflate the two.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #38)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 02:52 PM

40. I believe that TSS was taking a subtle slam at those who would conflate the two.

But I could certainly be wrong about that.

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Response to EOTE (Reply #40)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 05:02 PM

42. If so, then I misread.

Definitely.

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Response to Better Believe It (Original post)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 08:49 PM

19. Well...

 

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47031923/ns/technology_and_science-space/

Critics counter that the method has not yet been proven effective for differentiating between biological and non-biological processes on Earth, so it's premature to draw any conclusions.

"Ideally, to use a technique on data from Mars, one would want to show that the technique has been well-calibrated and well-established on Earth. The need to do so is clear; on Mars we have no way to test the method, while on Earth we can," planetary scientist and astrobiologist Christopher McKay, with NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., told Discovery News.

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Response to Typical NYC Lib (Reply #19)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 08:55 PM

21. This would be the same NASA that said life even remotely like us...

could exist without phosphorus.

The best thing if you actually interested in what is really happening to wait until the news frenzy dies down.

But seriously, these dips should send an actual microscope, if it could survive. They'd have to come up with a softer landing than the airbag approach of the recent missions.

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Response to Better Believe It (Original post)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 09:00 PM

23. way to go,viking robot!

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Response to Better Believe It (Original post)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 01:06 AM

27. Are the bacteria pro or anti-Obama?

This is important.

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Response to ellisonz (Reply #27)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 12:29 PM

34. The ones who post on DU think Obama's a sellout.

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Response to Better Believe It (Original post)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 02:06 PM

36. WTF is a Viking Robot?

I thought that Vikings were Norwegians and Swedes not Australians.

What the hell is this? It sounds like some sort of "science is stupid" BS, and frankly, this article gives it credence if they can't tell Vikings from Australians, not to mention other dubious points.

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Response to Better Believe It (Original post)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 02:22 PM

39. I wonder if The Mars Science Laboratory will be able to offer any additional insight

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #39)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 03:52 PM

41. I hope so. Thanks for the link.

 

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