One former NASA scientist says the space agency found life on Mars more than 40 years ago, and he wants further action.
In 1976, Viking Landers sent to the red planet placed nutrients in soil there. Then, they waited to see if life forms would consume it and leave metabolic traces.
Radioactive monitors did detect those gaseous traces. Subsequent experiments couldn’t find organic material, so, scientists dismissed Viking’s results as false positives.
Gilbert levin worked on those early Viking experiments, and he wants NASA to conduct similar tests again.
The agency has not sent landers with life detection equipment since then but last year, the curiosity rover found organic matter on Mars.
The Mars 2020 Rover will search for past habitable environments and scan for organic chemicals when it lands on Mars in 2021.
It is not slated to perform the tests Levin is calling for.