The search for extraterrestrial life has been ongoing for decades. Scientists have been scouring the universe for signs of life on other planets. The discovery of microbial life on Mars would be a huge breakthrough in the scientific community. However, what if NASA did find alien life on Mars and then, unfortunately, killed it? That is what scientist Gilbert Levin claims happened.
1. The Viking Mission:
The Viking 1 and 2 missions sent rovers to Mars in 1976 to search for microbial life. Gilbert Levin was the principal investigator for the Viking life detection experiments. The Viking landers conducted three biological experiments to search for signs of life in the Martian soil. The results of the experiments were mixed, but one showed promising results.
2. The LR Experiment:
The LR experiment, short for “Labeled Release” experiment, detected signs of microbial life in the soil. The experiment involved injecting a nutrient solution into the soil to see if it would produce gas. The results showed that the soil did produce gas, indicating the presence of microbial life. However, the results were dismissed by NASA, citing that they could not be replicated.
According to Levin, the reason the results of the LR experiment were dismissed was that NASA accidentally killed the alien life. Levin claims that the Viking landers were not sterilized properly, so any microbes that were present on the rover may have contaminated the soil, leading to the false-negative result.
Levin claims that there is evidence to support his theory. He points out that the Viking missions did not have a mechanism to distinguish between Earth life and Martian life. Therefore, it is possible that the nutrients injected into the soil is what caused the reaction, and not the Martian microbes. However, Levin argues that they did not use the proper controls to rule out the possibility of contamination.
5. NASA Response:
NASA has responded to Levin’s claims, stating that there is no evidence to support the theory that they killed Martian life. They argue that the LR experiment was not conclusive and that their findings were inconclusive. NASA has plans to send future missions to Mars to search for signs of life and hopes to answer the question of whether there is life on other planets.
The question of whether there is life on other planets remains unanswered, but the discovery of Martian microbial life would be a monumental breakthrough. The debate surrounding the LR experiment and the possibility that NASA may have accidentally killed Martian life is ongoing. While the results of the Viking mission may not be conclusive, it has sparked interest in further exploration of the Red Planet. Perhaps future missions to Mars will provide definitive answers to the question of whether we are alone in the universe.