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Fraser
2003-Nov-10, 05:17 AM
SUMMARY: A team of scientists have traveled to one of the driest places on Earth to help understand why past missions to Mars have failed to detect any life in the soil. The Atacama Desert is located in a region of Chile which is blocked on both sides by high mountain ranges, so it's incredibly dry. The scientists have studied the soil and realized that organic material is there, it's just so minimal that the instruments on board the Viking lander, which visited Mars in the 1970s, wouldn't have been able to sense them. More sophisticated instruments should be installed on future missions to find evidence of life.


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goddardrocketry
2003-Nov-14, 05:13 AM
I don't think that we can really say there is no life on Mars until we have had thousands of probes take thousands of samples from different places accross the planet. How many places on this planet are without life? Many of the more forbidding environments I would think would be utterly lifeless. The desert is the best example.