NASA scientist Alfonso Davila explained how NASA once believed they had discovered alien life on Mars in a shocking revelation. While on the On a Mission podcast Mr Davila explained that the first search for alien life on another planet concluded in results that supported the idea that microbial life existed on Mars. He said: “The Viking rover was part of a very cool experiment, the first to search for life on another planet. “It did a lot of cool stuff, it took pictures, showed us Mars up close for the first time.
“But the biological experiment is what makes the mission truly exciting.
“There were three biological experiments and one of them is particularly interesting.
“The idea for the experiment was that the arm of the rover would scoop would collect some dirt from the ground and put it in a container and then add a solution which was called a chicken soup.”
Mr Davila went on to explain why the container solution was called “chicken soup.”
He said: “It is chicken soup for microbes.
“Think about it, if you are cold and starving and you are dehydrated what is the best thing you can have is a warm cup of chicken soup.
“So the thinking at the time was that micro-organisms on Mars if they were present in the soil they would be dehydrated and very cold.
“So to help them come back alive and actually be able to detect them we would add this chicken soup so that the microbes would have something to feed on and grow.
“We would then be able to measure the gasses that are produced as they eat the chicken soup.
“Add the chicken soup to the soil and then sniff the gasses that come out of the microbes chewing on the molecules, like sugars and the amino acids.”
After explaining the method in which NASA hoped to discover alien life, Mr Davila revealed that the initial results indicated that microbes had been found on Mars.
“If you expected microbes to be present they would take their time to come back and eat the things and release those gasses so that was odd.”
The NASA astrobiologist went on to explain how NASA was able to conclude that what was causing the reaction was not alien life in a second experiment they did.
“Part of the experiment was to scoop out another sample of soil and heat it up to very high temperatures to kill everything that might have been living there and then add the chicken soup.
“If the original reaction was due to biology then we shouldn’t see a reaction in the second case and what happened was quite the opposite, they added the chicken soup to the dead sample and there was a similar reaction to the first experiment.”