NASA discovered life on Mars in the 1970s, says former scientist

Former NASA scientist Gilbert V. Levin said the US space agency found proof of life on Mars in the 1970s during the mission that brought the two Viking probes there. The information was disclosed in his article and published in the Scientific American magazine last Tuesday (15).

In the text, Viking's engineer and principal investigator reports that the discovery came after performing the Labeled Release (LR) test on material collected on the Red Planet. On July 30, 1976, the team received the first results sent by the probe and was surprised: they indicated the detection of microbial respiration in Martian soil.

Viking image of Mars in 1976. (Source: NASA / JPL)

As the experiment went on, four other positive results were found, including coming from another spacecraft that landed 6, 000 kilometers away from the first.

According to Levin, all positive results of the presence of life on Mars had a data curve similar to the analysis of the investigation of the presence of bacteria in terrestrial soil. For him, this was proof of the existence of microscopic life in Martian soil.

Why didn't NASA continue with the tests?

Excited by the discovery, the NASA team then made a molecular analysis to detect organic matter, the essence of life. However, the results were negative and the agency concluded that the material collected was a life-imitating substance.

With that, the agency abandoned the research, attitude criticized by Gilbert Levin in his article. According to him, the agency did not perform any more detection tests similar to 1976, even though it sent several missions to the Red Planet in search of alien life.

Viking was the first human artifact to land on another planet. (Source: NASA / JPL)

Following another path, she chose to launch missions to find a life-giving habitat and, if anything was found, to bring samples for analysis on Earth.

For him, this is a mistake NASA made, especially since it is close to bringing the first astronauts to Mars. Such an attitude would put them at risk if there really is microscopic life there, demanding a great deal of effort not to expose them to possible microorganisms.