Mars has life claims astrobiologist
World renowned astrobiologist Chandra Wickramasinghe is spitting mad. The eminent scientist recently reiterated the charge he made against the National Aeronautics and Space Administration back in 2008.
"The discovery of liquid water on Mars combined with earlier discoveries of organic substances in a meteorite that came from Mars, and also of methane in the Martian atmosphere all point to the existence of life--contemporary life--on the Red Planet," the scientist asserted.
Other astronomers, exobiologists and planetary experts agree. One of the lead scientists responsible for scientific experiments conducted by the Viking probes during the 1970s--Gil Levin--has also consistently made the same claim for the record. Levin has a tendency to boil over whenever the subject is raised.
Gil Levin: 'Viking found life.'
Wickramasinghe underscored his argument by adding that "I am not speaking of fossilized life but contemporary life."
The professor of applied mathematics and astronomy at the University of Cardiff in Wales also cites the Viking experiment of 35 years ago.
The Viking evidence
"Even as early as 1976, when the two NASA space probes, Viking 1 and Viking 2, landed on Mars, experiments carried out in situ pointed strongly to the existence of active microbial life," he explained. The experiments conducted included one specifically designed to detect the presence of microbes in the Martian soil. When the experiment was carried out and a nutrient rich liquid was spilled onto the Martian surface "...it frothed up so vigorously exuding carbon dioxide, that a positive detection of life might have been inferred."
The late Carl Sagan with Viking
Despite those results, NASA chose to ignore the evidence of life. "...when the NASA scientists looked for organic material, the detritus of living organisms, around the landing site, their experiments yielded negative or ambiguous results. So NASA cautiously concluded, no organics means no life detected ," the somewhat miffed astrobiologist pointed out.
Why would a prestigious organization like NASA withhold such world-shaking information? After all, if life is right next door, then the odds are overwhelming that life is thriving throughout the universe.