On Vikings, Phoenix, Mars, and Life

Ya something new everyday, and so does NASA.  There's something to be said for going back and taking another look at past research.

It turns out that the ORGANIC chemicals - chloromethane and dichloromethane - found in Martian soil samples from the Phoenix lander were ALSO found in soil samples from the Atacama desert in Chile.  However, these chemicals were only discovered in the Chilean soil AFTER a little perchlorate was added to the soil.
This discovery nixes the previous belief that chloromethane and dichloromethane are the only organics present on Mars.   Perchlorate is now believed to exist.

The next missions will be able to test this theory further with the use of the Sample Analysis at Mars instrument (SAM) attached to the Curiosity rover.



While this discovery does not yield knowledge to the presence of LIFE on Mars, every bit of discovery get us one step further towards understanding the biological history of the red planet.

Curiosity rover

lllater - M

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