Mistakes are an everyday part of life itself, but for such a specialized agency of the magnitude of NASA to make such a momentous mistake seems impossible. However, it was; the space agency may have accidentally burned possible evidence of life on Mars. Some organic samples that had been collected in 76 by a space probe that was sent to the planet to investigate its surface on which the results were expected to prove that the Martian soil was suitable, however, the results to determine that life on Mars was possible were not as expected.
The test demonstrating life on Mars could have been burned by NASA.
According to the research article published by the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 40 years ago, NASA sent twin probes to the Red Planet, identified as Viking, which were tasked with conducting the first research experiments on organic matter on the planet. Scientists have been certain for several years that without exception, the planets receive constant micro meteorite rains, which contain carbon and space dust. This could mean that Mars must have had some organic molecules.
The problem was that none of the Viking probes got results in their search. Chris McKay told New Secientist that it was totally unexpected and contradicted all his previous research.
Although several trials were conducted to try to explain the lack of organic material on Mars, there were none that were strong enough. It was not until 2008, when Phoenix, the NASA lander, made the discovery of a rare salt in the vicinity of the Martian North Pole. The salt was known as perchlorate, which is so explosive at high temperatures that it is used as fuel for rockets and fireworks.
Perchlorate, the salt that triggered it all.
The low temperatures on Mars were no problem, since perchlorate could not become flammable. However, at the time of the search for organic material, the Viking landers took soil samples to find the molecules of living organisms and with the salt in the soil, the experiments burned any organic traces, hiding the possible presence.
After this discovery, some of the scientists were again certain that living organisms were on the Red Planet from the beginning. According to McKay, they got a new way of looking at things and realized that everything they thought was wrong.