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New analysis of data sent from Mars 34 years ago showing there was no organic material on the planet suggests maybe there was after all, U.S. scientists say....
"We can now say there is organic material on Mars, and that the Viking organics experiment that didn't find any had most likely destroyed what was there during the testing," said Rafael Navarro-Gonzalez of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, who performed a re-creation of the original testing....
Researchers replicated the Viking mission with soil from the most Mars-like environment on Earth -- the Atacama Desert in Chile -- and heated the sample in the same way it was heated by the Viking instruments on Mars. The small amount of organic material known to be in the Atacama soil was detectable low temperatures, but was broken up into water and carbon dioxide when heated.
New research has found that the Red Planet was once rich in carbon dioxide, increasing the chances that Mars has harboured life.
Widespread deposits of carbonate rock are buried a few miles beneath the surface, according to scientists.