Myles Braithwaite

After thirty years of absolute no organic material, scientists say that they have found organic material in the Martian soil collected by Viking.

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.”

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