General Mars
  Implications of Life

  Definition of Life
  Martian Meteorite

Data Analysis
  Thin Section Analysis
  Isotope Analysis
  Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer
  Infrared Spectroscopy
  Alpha-Proton X-Ray Spectrometer
  Detection of Carbon Complexes
  Labeled Release
  Gas Exchange
  Pyrolytic Release
  Stimulus Response Experiments

Scientific Research and Design
Data Analysis -- Pyrolytic Release

Again, this experiment is based on the assumption that any life would metabolize our marked particles- in this case CO and CO2. Viking's results were negative, but again not entirely conclusive due to other possibilities. 

Positive: Radioactive particles detected in soil after exposure. Life indicated. 

Negative: No radioactive particles detected in soil after exposure. No metabolic activities detected. 

False-Positive: Radioactive particles detected as result of carryover from incubation chamber. Chemical processes breaking down molecules at the great temperatures to which the soil is exposed in the experiment. Again to avoid these, we will be very selected in what soil we will sample. 

mitCopyright © 2000 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Comments and questions to Last updated: 10 December, 2000