August 6, 2012
from Exopolitics Website
To achieve its two year exploratory mission, the nuclear powered Curiosity carries 15 times as much scientific equipment as on previous Mars rovers. Curiosity will analyze samples of soil, rocks and atmosphere on the spot and transmit results back to NASA scientists.
NASA claims that,
Importantly, according to Doug McCuistion, director of the Mars Exploration Program at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.,
If you are interested in learning about the possibility of current life on Mars, Curiosity is not designed to answer that question.
Why not you may ask? According to NASA, the inconclusive results of past NASA experiments of current microbial life on Mars meant that there was no point repeating such experiments and risk new scientific controversy. NASA has a right to be concerned since controversy over the Viking Lander experiments in 1976 has not gone away.
According to a scientific study
published in April 2012, the Viking experiments successfully
detected life after all. All this makes NASA’s current emphasis on
seeking whether conditions ever existed on Mars for life look rather
trivial, and a step in the wrong direction.
Their report, “Complexity Analysis of The Viking Labeled Release Experiments,” released in the International Journal of Aeronautical and Space Sciences resurrected the controversy over results of the Viking Mission’s “Labeled Released experiment” designed by Dr Gilbert Levin.
The Viking mission was the only Mars mission so far that was designed by NASA to detect life.
Dr Levin was confident that the experiment had detected microbial life on Mars, but his NASA colleagues disagreed and his startling finding was forgotten in the Martian sands of time. This new scientific investigation has concluded that Levin was right all along.
Here is what the team of scientists concluded in their 2012 report:
So why has NASA not designed any new experiments for detecting current life on Mars?
That’s the 2.5 billion dollar question that should be asked with the Curiosity mission and budget. Are we really expected to believe that after more than three decades since Viking, NASA still can’t design an experiment to conclusively answer whether or not life currently exists on Mars?
Rather than Curiosity being a “bold step
forward in learning about our neighboring planet,” it looks like an
expensive step backwards to avoid renewed scientific controversy
over whether or not life exists on Mars.