In 1976, NASA conducted a research mission on Mars called Viking. It was an experiment of sending special robots to the red planet and it was aimed to detect extraterrestrial life. Thirty-six years later an international team of mathematicians and other scientists concluded that the mission had actually discovered traces of life on Mars!
In fact, biologist Joseph Miller argues that a human mission to Mars is necessary to check the results of that experiment. A tiny camera is enough to record the movement of bacteria on the surface of the planet.
A research team led by Miller have decided to re-examine data from the Viking mission. According to the primary interpretation, the mission’s robots had collected inorganic matter. The team of Miller put these results under doubt. The researchers took the initial data collected by the Vikings and estimated their complexity.
Since living systems are more complex than non-biological processes, the idea was to examine the results of the experiment from purely arithmetical point of view.
The researches found a close correlation between the complexity of the experiment results and the terrestrial biological datasets. It might mean that the samples from the Vikings are more likely to have biological character rather than purely geological.
The final conclusions of the new study will be presented in August 2012. Professor Miller added: “Based on what we have done so far, I would say that I am 99% sure that there is life up there“.
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