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Mars robots may have destroyed evidence of life

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posted on May, 27 2009 @ 03:57 PM

HAVE Mars landers been destroying signs of life? Instead of identifying chemicals that could point to life, NASA's robot explorers may have been toasting them by mistake.

Uh oh.

The Phoenix and Viking landers looked for organic molecules by heating soil samples to similarly high temperatures to evaporate them and analyse them in gas form. When Douglas Ming of NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, and colleagues tried heating organics and perchlorates like this on Earth, the resulting combustion left no trace of organics behind. Ming's team presented their results at the recent Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Houston.

Seems like a waste doesn't it? You would like to think that someone at NASA thought to test this out before sending Pheonix and Viking landers over to Mars. I really hope this doesn't turn out to be the case here. Interesting read.

[edit on 27/5/09 by beautyfrompain]

posted on May, 27 2009 @ 03:59 PM
Poor, poor little microbes. Living the good life until man shows up and ruins it for everyone.

Stuff like this is what happens when you push the boundaries and explore, no big deal. I still find it very odd the the very robots we currently send don't have the mechanisms to detect actual, simple life.

posted on May, 27 2009 @ 04:08 PM
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