Saturday, September 04, 2010

UA's Phoenix Mars Lander found missing piece of puzzle to life on Mars

A new study published online in Journal of Geophysical Research - Planets, concludes that tests conducted by the University of Arizona's Phoenix Mars Lander, show that "soil examined by NASA's Viking Mars landers in 1976 may have contained carbon-based chemical building blocks of life."

A news release from NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab says that "The only organic chemicals identified when the Viking landers heated samples of Martian soil were chloromethane and dichloromethane -- chlorine compounds interpreted at the time as likely contaminants from cleaning fluids. But those chemicals are exactly what the new study found when a little perchlorate -- the surprise finding from Phoenix -- was added to desert soil from Chile containing organics and analyzed in the manner of the Viking tests."

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