View Full Version : Viking Found Organics on Mars, Experiment Confirms

6th January 2011, 19:15
Using Mars-like soil taken from Atacama Desert, a study confirms Mars has organics, and Viking found them.

More than 30 years after NASA's Viking landers found no evidence for organic materials on Mars, scientists say a new experiment on Mars-like soil shows Viking did, in fact, hit pay dirt.

The new study was prompted by the August 2008 discovery of powerful oxygen-busting compounds known as perchlorates at the landing site of another Mars probe called Phoenix.

Scientists repeated a key Viking experiment using perchlorate-enhanced soil from Chile's Atacama Desert, which is considered one of the driest and most Mars-like places on Earth, and found telltale fingerprints of combusted organics -- the same chemicals Viking scientists dismissed as contaminants from Earth.

"Contrary to 30 years of perceived wisdom, Viking did detect organic materials on Mars," planetary scientist Christopher McKay, with NASA's Ames Research Center in California, told Discovery News. "It's like a 30-year-old cold case suddenly solved with new facts."


6th January 2011, 19:16
Go viking!!!

always knew you were good at what you do viking ;)

6th January 2011, 19:20
haha Celiné,

very good,.

6th January 2011, 19:26
Haha, here we go. Buckle up - many have said that specifically this release of information would be the first step to wide-spread public disclosure.

6th January 2011, 22:54
It's been awhile since I've done some chemistry but I didn't see anywhere in the article where an organic is specified or eluded to. Organics contain carbon. Maybe they are saying perchlorate is evidence of decay? But ClO4 would be considered an inorganic molecule. I'm sure Carmody somehow has the answer for me.

7th January 2011, 00:11
martians have to eat too.