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Scientific - Scientists call for new Mars life search
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Scientists call for new Mars life search

   نوشته شده توسط: فریده جلیلوند    

 

Scientists call for new Mars life search

 

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (UPI) -- Finding life on Mars should be the top priority for any future robotic probes or rovers sent to the planet, some U.S. scientists argue

The first and only attempts to search for life on Mars were the Viking missions launched in 1975, and when they failed to find evidence it was generally assumed that cold, radiation, the lack of water and other environmental factors ruled out the chances for microbial activity on or near the surface of Mars, SPACE.com reported

The Mars Science Laboratory, scheduled for launch in 2011, will search for evidence that the Martian environment was once capable of supporting life, but some scientists are arguing for a more important search -- for "extant" life that is active or perhaps dormant but still alive

"There is no human task more significant and profound than testing if we are alone or not in the universe, and Mars must be the first place to look, as it is just facing our front yard," astrobiologist Alberto Fairen at the SETI Institute and NASA Ames Research Center says

"Finding life on Mars would be the most important scientific achievement of this century," he says

Fairen and his colleagues want a new goal for the next round of robotic investigations on Mars

"We call for a long-term architecture of the Mars Exploration Program that is organized around three main goals in the following order of priority -- the search for extant life, the search for past life and sample return," Fairen said

 

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