Life has a pesky way of popping up in the most inconvenient of places: your sock drawer, that forgotten bowl of chili in the fridge, and now, apparently, Mars. Although, according to Gilbert Levin, a former NASA scientist who worked on the Viking program experiment, the US government has had proof of life on the Red Planet for decades.
That could be bad news for Elon Musk.
NASA Veteran: Viking Experiment Proved That There’s Life on Mars
One former NASA scientist says there’s already proof of life on Mars. | Source: NASA/JPL/USGS
The Viking program, set up in 1976, probed the surface of Mars for evidence of extraterrestrial life. According to an article penned by Levin, aptly entitled “I’m Convinced We Found Evidence of Life on Mars in the 1970s,” there is more than just dust up there.
The Viking probes were designed to expose any signs of life by tracking carbon waste left behind from the organic consumption of the soil. Primary readings from the Viking landers inexplicably returned positive results each time, detecting what Levin calls “microbial respiration.” In other words, tiny burps.
Unfortunately, due to troubles replicating the results on Earth, these “signs of life” were dismissed as little more than a chemical reaction – or as NASA officially put it, “a substance mimicking life.”Levin disputes this conclusion, stating:
“What is the evidence against the possibility of life on Mars? The astonishing fact is that there is none.”
Subsequent experiments have only bolstered Levin’s case. In 2018, NASA’s Curiosity rover discovered organic matter on Mars.
This could signal one of three things: “a record detailing ancient life,