Could Curiosity determine if Viking found life on Mars?

The landing site of Viking 1 on Mars in 1977, with trenches dug in the soil for the biology experiments. Credit: NASA/JPL

One of the most controversial and long-debated aspects of Mars exploration has been the results of the Viking landers’ life-detection experiments back in the 1970s. While the preliminary findings were consistent with the presence of bacteria (or something similar) in the soil samples, the lack of organics found by other instruments forced most scientists to conclude that the life-like responses were most likely the result of unknown chemical reactions, not life. Gilbert V. Levin, however, one of the primary scientists involved with the Viking experiments, has continued to maintain that the Viking landers did indeed find life in the Martian soil. He also now thinks that the just-launched Curiosity rover might be able to confirm this when it lands on Mars next summer…

See Universe Today for the full article.

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