Origins of life

, Volume 5, Issue 3–4, pp 417–430 | Cite as

Test results on the Viking gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer experiment

  • K. Biemann
Part VI / Exobiology


The gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer instrument to be utilized in the Viking 1975 Molecular Analysis experiment has undergone preliminary testing in its flight configured version. A synthetic mixture of 24 components as well as a sample of the Murchison meteorite has been used for this purpose. The resulting data did not only allow the identification of most of the organic compounds known to be present, but also revealed the identity of a few unexpected ones. Thus, the sensitivity and reliability of the instrument and data system are satisfactorily demonstrated. Shortcomings revealed by these tests are in the process of being remedied.


Data System Organic Chemistry Geochemistry Organic Compound Molecular Analysis 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Biemann
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of ChemistryMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

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