According to a former scientist at NASA, Gilbert V. Levin, the US space agency found evidence of life on Mars in the 1970s. More specifically, Levin, the former principal investigator of a NASA experiment related to the Viking Mars landers in 1976, argued that the probes spotted the proof of life on the Red Planet.
Gilbert V. Levin made that statement in a recent article posted in the Scientific American journal. The experiment that Levin worked on in 1976, known as Labeled Release (LR), had the purpose of examining the surface of Mars for the presence of organic matter.
According to Levin, the Viking landers had placed nutrients in Mars soil samples. If there were life on Mars, then it would have consumed the nutrients, leaving traces of its metabolic reactions. Then, after cooking the soil samples, the test would have been repeated.
If there were evidence of life in the first study and not in the second, that would prove the existence of life on Mars. That’s what happened, said Gilbert Levin.
A Former Scientist Stated That NASA Found Evidence Of Life on Mars In The 1970s
“NASA concluded that the LR had found a substance mimicking life, but not life. Inexplicably, over the 43 years since Viking, none of NASA’s subsequent Mars landers has carried a life-detection instrument to follow up on these exciting results,” said Levin.
Now, however, there is more and more evidence that life on Mars might have existed in the ancient history of the planet.
But there is no proof that the Red Planet is habited at the moment. For that reason, Levin believes that NASA has to put life-detection systems on its upcoming Mars 2020 mission. However, Mars 2020 will search for proofs of past life on Mars, biosignature in Martian rocks, and more.
“NASA has already announced that its 2020 Mars lander will not contain a life-detection test. In keeping with well-established scientific protocol, I believe an effort should be made to put life detection experiments on the next Mars mission possible,” said Gilbert V. Levin.