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Guest: Dr. Gil Levin; Topics: Viking Labeled Release data, microbial life on Mars, life on Mars resistance, supporting evidence and searching for life on Mars missions.
We welcomed back Dr. Gil Levin for this 70 minute discussion on the continued efforts to search for microbial life on Mars post Dr. Levin’s Viking landers in 1976 with their Labeled Release experiments. New analysis of the Viking data continues to suggest Viking did find signs of life but this conclusion has yet to be confirmed by NASA and many other scientists. Dr. Levin went over the data, talked about new information from newer rovers and Mars science, plus he talked about why there were no definitive life searching experiments for Mars, even up to and including the different missions currently on their way to Mars.
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Once again our key words and tags do a good job of summarizing our discussion. Still better, you will get much more information from listening to the callers and their exchanges with Gil plus the email questions and replies. In addition, Gil had much to say about searching for microbial life on Mars, why it has been so hard to do and continues to be hard to do. One reason our guest presented was the fact that should life on Mars be announced, it might very well stop or significantly delay human exploration of Mars. Listen to what our guest said about this along with a caller and some emails. What do you think about humans to Mars should it be announced that there had been or was microbial life on Mars? Would it slow down or stop the human exploration of Mars?
The idea of a Mars sample return was discussed. Our guest favored the return but believed it should go to an off Earth lab for analysis. Such a lab might be on the lunar surface, in orbit around Earth or even in a lunar orbit. Another listener wanted to know about the availability of the Viking data. It has been digitized and is available on a NASA site. Listen to what Gil said about accessing the data which is available to anyone seeking it. Another topic that Gil brought up was panspermia. He cited work and evidence by Richard Hoover, one we have talked about on previous programs with Gil. In addition, Gill suggested his low cost life detection experiment, the Chiro labeled release experiment. He told us about his efforts to get such an experiment approved but has had no success in doing that. Another topic we talked about was methane on Mars. Gil had much to say on this one so be sure to listen to all of what he had to say about Mars based methane.
Later in the program a listener asked Gil if he thought we needed to go to the Moon first in order to better be able to go to Mars and work or live on the planet. He said definitely no but once again, listen to all of his comments on this topic. Yet another topic Gil dealt with included ice on Mars, specifically in the polar areas Gil then brough up The Mars Habit Habitat Experiment.
Gil’s associate and co-investigator with Viking, Dr. Patricia Straat, was mentioned as she recently passed away. At one point, Gil mentioned an Israeli book in Hebrew talking about the US working with ET’s on Mars. The book was in Hebrew so we don’t have a translation. Gil sent me information on the book which I will post on the blog.
We discussed many other topics, had several callers and while our guest went over information we have previously discussed with him on other Space Show programs, we covered new ground and new topics. Please post your comments/questions on the blog. You can reach Dr. Levin through me or his website, www.gillevin.com.