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Alien Probe Lands! Slaughters Millions!

A new report suggests that that the probes NASA sent to Mars 30 years ago to look for life may have found it and, um, killed it. The Viking missions were looking for Earth-type life, and the experiments that they conducted would likely have been fatal to the type of hydrogen peroxide-based life scientists now suspect might live there.

One Viking experiment seeking life on Mars poured water on soil. That would have essentially drowned hydrogen peroxide-based life, Schulze-Makuch said. A different experiment heated the soil to see if something would happen, but that would have baked Martian microbes, he said.

“The problem was that they didn’t have any clue about the environment on Mars at that time,” Schulze-Makuch said. “This kind of adaptation makes sense from a biochemical viewpoint.”

Erm…oops.

Link

(Also, I’m vaguely concerned at the prospect of life based on hydrogen peroxide. I thought we’d already discovered that, and called it Beverly Hills.)

Update: And now I can’t get that damn Bowie song out of my head. Everybody sing! o/~ Is there life on Mars…. o/~

Posted in Science, Space January 8th, 2007 by Chip
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