ICAMSR - International Committee Against Mars Sample Return
The Case for Extant Life on Mars and Its Possible Detection by the Viking Labeled Release Experiment

The Case for Extant Life on Mars and Its Possible Detection by the Viking Labeled Release Experiment by Gilbert V. Levin and Patricia Ann Straat. In "The Case for Extant Life on Mars and Its Possible Detection by the Viking Labeled Release Experiment," coauthors Gilbert V. Levin, Arizona State University, Tempe, and Patricia Ann Straat, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD (retired), clearly outline the evidence to support the "biological hypothesis", which argues that the results of the 1976 Viking Labeled Release experiment were positive for extant microbial life on the surface of Mars.

Further, Drs. Levin and Straat evaluate the "non-biological hypotheses" to explain the Viking results, which many scientists support, but the authors conclude that the experimental evidence supports a biological explanation and the likelihood that microorganisms were able to evolve and adapt to be able to survive in the harsh conditions of the Martian environment.

"Even if one is not convinced that the Viking LR results give strong evidence for life on Mars, this paper clearly shows that the possibility must be considered," says Chris McKay, PhD, Senior Editor of Astrobiology and an astrobiologist with NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA. "We cannot rule out the biological explanation. This has implications for plans for sample return from Mars and for future human missions."

University of Buckingham Astrobiologists Endorsed by UK Space Agency to Look for Life on Mars

University of Buckingham Astrobiologists Endorsed by UK Space Agency to Look for Life on Mars

New NASA close-up images of freshly broken open rocks by the Curiosity rover wheels could incidentally verify that the 1976 Viking Mission found microbial life

New NASA close-up images of freshly broken open rocks by the Curiosity rover wheels could incidentally verify that the 1976 Viking Mission found microbial life

Astrobiological Implications of Rock Varnish in Tibet

Astrobiological Implications of Rock Varnish in Tibet ASTROBIOLOGY, Volume 9, Number 6, 2009 DOI: 10.1089=ast.2008.0238 - David Krinsley, Ronald I. Dorn, and Barry DiGregorio. The study of terrestrial geomicrobiology and its relationship to rock weathering processes is an essential tool in developing analogues for similar processes that may have occurred on Mars. Most studies of manganese-enhanced rock varnish have focused on samples taken from warm arid desert regions. Here, we examine samples obtained from eolian-abraded lava flows of the 4700-4800 m high Ashikule Basin in Tibet.

NASA Mars Exploration Program Status - Briefing to the Decadal Survey Committee July 6, 2009

NASA Mars Exploration Program Status - Briefing to the Decadal Survey Committee July 6, 2009
NASA changes its "FOLLOW THE WATER" on Mars mantra to "THE SEARCH FOR LIFE".

Strong Release of Methane on Mars in Northern Summer 2003

Strong Release of Methane on Mars in Northern Summer 2003 Published Online January 15, 2009. Science DOI: 10.1126/science.1165243

Scientists Discover Concealed Glaciers On Mars at Mid-Latitudes (Press Release)

Scientists Discover Concealed Glaciers On Mars at Mid-Latitudes (Press Release) November 20, 2008

Glaciers Reveal Martian Climate Has Been Recently Active (Press Release)

Glaciers Reveal Martian Climate Has Been Recently Active (Press Release) April 23, 2008

Mars Express closes in on the origin of Mars' larger moon

Mars Express closes in on the origin of Mars' larger moon October 16, 2008

Martian Meteorites Do Not Eliminate The Need For Back Contamination Precautions On Sample Return Missions

Martian Meteorites Do Not Eliminate The Need For Back Contamination Precautions On Sample Return Missions by Benton C. Clark, Lockheed Martin Astronautics, POB 179, MS 5-8000, Denver, CO 80201, USA. Advances in Space Research, Volume 30, Issue 6, p. 1593-1600.

Dissolution cavities in upper Ordovician sandstones from Lake Ontario: analogs to vesiculated rocks on Mars?

Dissolution cavities in upper Ordovician sandstones from Lake Ontario: analogs to vesiculated rocks on Mars? Author: DiGregorio, Barry E. Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology V. Edited by Richard B. Hoover, Alexei Yu. Rozanov, Roland R. Paepe. Proceedings of the SPIE, Volume 4859, pp. 57-71 (2003).

The Stability of Liquid-Water Films on the Surface of Mars

The Stability of Liquid-Water Films on the Surface of Mars DPS Pasadena Meeting 2000, 23-27 October 2000 Session 62. Mars Surface and Satellites II.

Rock Varnish As A Habitat For Extant Life On Mars

Rock Varnish As A Habitat For Extant Life On Mars by Barry E. DiGregorio, Cardiff Centre for Astrobiology, Cardiff, UK.
Barry E. DiGregorio's 2001 SPIE Conference paper regarding rock varnish and life on Mars: from Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology IV.

Microbes In Rocks And Meteorites: A New Form Of Life Unaffected By Time, Temperature, Pressure

Microbes In Rocks And Meteorites: A New Form Of Life Unaffected By Time, Temperature, Pressure Giuseppe Geraci1, Rosanna del Gaudio1, and Bruno D'Argenio2; 1 Dipartimento di Genetica, Biologia Generale e Molecolare, Universitŕ di Napoli "Federico II", Naples, Italy; 2 Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Universitŕ di Napoli "Federico II", Naples, Italy and Istituto di Ricerca Geomare Sud, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Naples, Italy

Probable Evidences Of Recent Biological Activity On Mars: Appearance And Growing Of Dark Dune Spots In The South Polar Region

Probable Evidences Of Recent Biological Activity On Mars: Appearance And Growing Of Dark Dune Spots In The South Polar Region. A. Horváth1,3, T. Gánti2, A. Gesztesi3, Sz. Bérczi4, E. Szathmáry2, 1Konkoly Observatory, P. O. Box 67, Budapest H-1525, Hungary, 2Collegium Budapest, Institute for Advanced Study,H-1014 Budapest, Szentháromság tér 2. Hungary, 3Budapest Planetarium, H-1476 Budapest, P. O. Box. 47, Hungary, 4Eötvös University, Dept. G. Physics, Cosmic Mat. Sp. Res. Gr. H-1117 Budapest, Pázmány P. s. 1/a. Hungary, (szathmary@zeus.colbud.hu)

Thinking About Life On Mars: Dangers And Visions

Thinking About Life On Mars: Dangers And Visions by A. H. Treiman. Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston TX 77058.

Support Experiments to the Pyrolysis/Gas Chromatographic/Mass Spectrometric, Analysis of the Surface of Mars

Support Experiments to the Pyrolysis/Gas Chromatographic/Mass Spectrometric, Analysis of the Surface of Mars by Lavoie, J. M., Ph.D. Thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, 1979.
This is the 1979 MIT Doctoral Thesis Barry E. DiGregorio cited in his book Mars: The Living Planet as evidence the Viking GCMS silver paladium separator could be crippled by excess sulfur in Martian soil. It also mentions the Viking GCMS could not find organic matter in some Earth soils that had millions of living microbes in them.

Organic Matter In SNC Meteorites: Is It Time To Re-Evaluate The Viking Biology Experimental Data?

Organic Matter In SNC Meteorites: Is It Time To Re-Evaluate The Viking Biology Experimental Data? (Lunar and Planetary Science XXXII 2001) by D. M. Warmflash1, S. J. Clemett2 and D. S. McKay1, 1Mail Code SN, NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX 77058, 2Lockheed Martin Space Operations, Houston TX 77058.

Detecting pyrolysis products from bacteria on Mars

Detecting pyrolysis products from bacteria on Mars by Daniel P. Glavin, Michael Schubert, Oliver Botta, Gerhard Kminek and Jeffrey L. Bada, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA.

The Antaeus Report: Orbiting Quarantine Facility

The Antaeus Report: Orbiting Quarantine Facility - Scientific and Technical Information Branch, NASA, Washington D.C. 1981.
The Antaeus Report: Orbiting Quarantine Facitlity is NASA's 1981 hard hitting report summarizing detailed plans to protect Earth's biosphere from any back contamination from Mars. So serious did NASA consider the possibility of back contamination from Mars in 1981 that they were willing to look at building a specially designed CDC-like examination laboratory in Earth orbit. Since the time this report was written, NASA funding for such a massive effort has dwindilled and is now instead considering the direct return of Martian soil samples to the surface of the Earth in a capsule which may or may not have a parachute (see ICAMSR Sample Return section). This risky method uses the Earth as a catchers mit and by-passes any inspection in space to make sure the capsule is properly sealed. To illustrate the seriousness of this issue Dr. Carl Sagan once told JPL engineers that returning samples of Martian soil directly to the Earth is extremely risky. He challenged the JPL engineers who thought it was safe to return Martian soil samples directly to the surface of the Earth to place live Anthrax germs in a prototype MSR capsule they thought was safe and then launch it into space. Sagan then said the MSR prototype should be made to return on the same trajectory as a real MSR mission. Then once the sample capsule landed on earth, scientists would run the capsule through the planetary quarantine protocols to see if all systems contained the organisms inside and that no contamination occured. None of the engineers were willing to take Sagan up on his Anthrax challenge. Dr. Sagan's example set a chilling tone for any planetary samples that might be returned from planets capable of sustaining microbes.

Light Flashes, Dust Clouds, and Electric Discharges Caused by Meteoroid Impacts onto Mars

Light Flashes, Dust Clouds, and Electric Discharges Caused by Meteoroid Impacts onto Mars from 63rd Annual Meteoritical Society Meeting (August 28 - September 1, 2000) by I. B. Kosarev, I. V. Nemtchinov, V. A. Rybakov, and V. V. Shuvalov, Institute for Dynamics of Geospheres, Russian Academy of Sciences, 38 Leninsky Prosp., Building 6, Moscow 117979, Russia.
Do frequent impacts on the Martian surface make it impossible for human exploration?

Evidence of Martian Land of Lakes Discovered

Evidence of Martian Land of Lakes Discovered by Michael Malin et al, of Malin Space Science Systems, December 4, 2000.

Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) Images Suggest Early Mars History is Recorded in Sedimentary Rocks

Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) Images Suggest Early Mars History is Recorded in Sedimentary Rocks - MGS MOC Releases MOC2-259 to MOC2-265, 4 December 2000 from the Malin Space Science Systems, Mars Global Surveyer, Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC).

Organic Pigments On Mars Surface?

Organic Pigments On Mars Surface? S. Pershin, Space Research Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 117810, GSP-7, Moscow, Russia. Dr. Sergei Pershin's presentation of his research on organic pigments on Mars at the 32-nd Vernadsky/Brown Microsymposium on Comparative Planetology.

32-th Vernadsky-Brown Microsymposium - Abstracts

32th Vernadsky-Brown Microsymposium - Abstracts - An excellent selection of Mars and planetary research abstracts.

Sub-ice Volcanism and Ancient Oceans/Lakes on Mars

Sub-ice Volcanism and Ancient Oceans/Lakes on Mars by M. G. Chapman from U.S. Geological Survey, 2255 No. Gemini Dr., Flagstaff, AZ 86001 United States and M. H. Carr from U.S. Geological Survey, 345 Middlefield Rd., Menlo Park, CA 94025 United States

Oceans and the Evolution of the Martian Hydrosphere

Oceans and the Evolution of the Martian Hydrosphere by S. M. Clifford from Lunar and Planetary Institute, 3600 Bay Area Blvd, Houston, TX 77058 United States and T. J. Parker from Jet Propulsion Laboratory, MS 183-501 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109 United States

Short-Term Stability of Surface Water on Mars

Short-Term Stability of Surface Water on Mars, by M. H. Hecht from Jet Propulsion Laboratory, M.S. 302-231 4800 Oak Grove Dr., Passadena, CA 91109 United States

The American Geophysical Union's Fall Meeting 2000

The American Geophysical Union's Fall Meeting 2000 - Scientific abstracts concerning water and astrobiology on Mars. There is a wealth of information about Mars to be gleaned from this important conference. Information on the outer palnets and comets is included as well.

Bacterial Activity in South Pole Snow

Bacterial Activity in South Pole Snow from Applied and Environmental Microbiology, October 2000; by Edward J. Carpenter1, Senjie Lin2, and Douglas G. Capone3.
1-Marine Sciences Research Center, State University of New York, Stony Brook, New York 11794; 2-Department of Marine Sciences, University of Connecticut, Groton, Connecticut 06340; and 3-Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90089

Martian Crater Lake May Have Harboured Life

Martian Crater Lake May Have Harboured Life, Professor Michael Russell and colleagues ongoing research on the unusual White Rock structures that reside inside Martian craters thought to have once been filled with liquid water.

Completion of the Viking Labeled Release Experiment on Mars

Completion of the Viking Labeled Release Experiment on Mars by Gilbert V. Levin and Patricia Ann Straat, Biospherics Incorporated, 4928 Wyaconda Road, Rockville, Maryland 20852, USA.

Preliminary Thermal Analysis Of A Mars Sample Return Earth Entry Vehicle (PDF document)

Preliminary Thermal Analysis Of A Mars Sample Return Earth Entry Vehicle by Ruth M. Amundsen, John A. Dec, Robert A. Mitcheltree, Michael C. Lindell, Robert A. Dillman, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA 23681-2199.

Mars Exploration Strategies: Forget About Sample Return! (PDF document)

Mars Exploration Strategies: Forget About Sample Return! by D.A. Paige, Dept. of Earth and Space Sciences, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90005.

Approaches To Resolving The Question Of Life On Mars

Approaches To Resolving The Question Of Life On Mars, Dr. Arthur LaFleur joins Dr. Levin as a co-author on this ground breaking new SPIE research paper about life on Mars. LaFleur helped develop the original Viking GCMS system and knows intimately, its limits and flaws. He provides dramatic evidence of why NASA should not have used the Viking GCMS data to render a negative verdict about life on Mars. Also in this paper, Dr. Lawrence Kuznetz, of the University of California at Berkley, Department of Planetary Sciences, demonstrates that Mars current atmospheric pressures and temperatures during certain seasons are capable of sustaining liquid water on the surface, in biologically significant quantities. This is perhaps the most signifcant evidence to date, that Dr's. Levin and Straat found living microorganisms in the soil of Mars 24 years ago.

Martian Meteorites and the Need for Back Contamination Precautions (PDF document)

Martian Meteorites and the Need for Back Contamination Precautions - Do meteorites from Mars negate the need for planetary protection?

Preventing the Forward Contamination of Europa

Preventing the Forward Contamination of Europa, Task Group on the Forward Contamination of Europa, Space Studies Board, Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications, National Research Council

Liquid water and life on Mars

Liquid water and life on Mars, Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering, July 20 1998, San Diego, California.

The Viking Labeled Release Experiment and Life on Mars

The Viking Labeled Release Experiment and Life on Mars, Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering, "Instruments, Methods, and Missions for the Investigation of Extraterrestial Microorganisms. July 29 - August 1, 1997, San Diego, California.

Viking Results, Chemistry or Biology?

Viking Results, Chemistry or Biology?, Abstract of Report Presented at the International Tesla Society Mars Forum, Colorado Springs, CO, November 13, 1993.

A Search for a Nonbiological Explanation of the Viking Labeled Release Life Detection Experiment

A Search for a Nonbiological Explanation of the Viking Labeled Release Life Detection Experiment, Icarus 45, 494-516 (1981).

Color and Feature Changes at Mars Viking Lander Site

Color and Feature Changes at Mars Viking Lander Site, Journal of Theoretical Biology, (1978) 75, 381-390.

Recent Results From the Viking Labeled Release Experiment on Mars

Recent Results From the Viking Labeled Release Experiment on Mars, Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 82, No. 28; September 30, 1977.

Life on Mars? The Viking Labeled Release Experiment

Life on Mars? The Viking Labeled Release Experiment, Biosystems, 9(1977) 165-174.

Labeled Release - An Experiment in Radiorespirometry

Labeled Release - An Experiment in Radiorespirometry, Origins of Life 7(1976) 293-311.



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