Scientist Claims Viking Experiments Killed Life on Mars

the nasa viking lander with a starfield character walking towards it

the nasa viking lander with a starfield character walking towards it

The premise of Bethesda’s newest open-world exploration game, Starfield, is humankind’s journey to the stars after abandoning an Earth that had become inhospitable to life.

This echoes in reality, as NASA has been busy for the past five decades trying to discern if Mars still has life.

One of these involved the Viking lander, which carried out experiments to try and discover microscopic life on Mars. These include irrigating the Martian soil to try and bring out microbes into the light.

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Credit: Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

Scientists continue to debate the results of these tests, and one claims that the water might have killed life on Mars.

According to Dirk Schulze-Makuch, an astrobiologist at Technical University Berlin, the experiments used too much water and may have killed microbes hiding in Martian hygroscopic rocks. The scientist pointed out to that similar microbes exist on Earth in the Chilean Atacama Desert.

85% of those have already been killed off because of floods that introduced wet conditions to the otherwise dry environment, according to a 2018 study featured in Scientific Reports.

Dr. Schulze-Makuch concluded that the water used in the Viking experiments may have killed Martian microbes.

In a related development, the Perseverance Rover, which had been exploring Mars since February 2021, produced 122 grams of oxygen from the carbon dioxide in the Red Planet.

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Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech

According to NASA, this is enough oxygen to sustain an astronaut for three hours.

This development also brings more hope that humankind can finally explore space, starting with the Red Planet, like in Starfield.

What do you think? Will we finally be able to branch out from our home planet in the near future and become the explorers that we are now in Bethesda’s Starfield?

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