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Journal of Molecular Evolution

, Volume 14, Issue 1–3, pp 223–232 | Cite as

The Viking mission: Implications for life on Mars

  • Lynn Margulis
  • Peter Mazur
  • Elso S. Barghoorn
  • Harlyn O. Halvorson
  • Thomas H. Jukes
  • Isaac R. Kaplan
The Biological Experiments

Summary

The results of the Viking Biology experiments are best explained by non-biological phenomena: The interaction of the reagents with the materials comprising the regolith. Conditions of water activity, temperature, availability of carbon sources and others in most regions of the planet are too extreme for survival and growth of any known Earth microorganisms. Although the possibility persists that some very unusual form of life is somewhere on that planet the evidence is best interpreted as negative. Even though there is no evidence for current life on Mars, whether or not life ever originated there is not known.

Key words

Mars biology experiment Pyrolytic Release (PR) Label Release (LR) Gas Exchange (GEX) Mars water Mars carbon 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lynn Margulis
    • 1
  • Peter Mazur
    • 2
  • Elso S. Barghoorn
    • 3
  • Harlyn O. Halvorson
    • 4
  • Thomas H. Jukes
    • 5
  • Isaac R. Kaplan
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of BiologyBoston UniversityBostonUSA
  2. 2.Biology DivisionOak Ridge National LaboratoryOak RidgeUSA
  3. 3.Department of BiologyHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA
  4. 4.Rosenstiel Basic Medical Sciences Research CenterBrandeis Univ.WalthamUSA
  5. 5.Space Sciences LaboratoryUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA
  6. 6.Department of Earth and Space SciencesUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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