The Viking Biological Investigation: Preliminary Results

  title={The Viking Biological Investigation: Preliminary Results},
  author={Harold P. Klein and Norman H. Horowitz and Gilbert V. Levin and Vance I. Oyama and Joshua Lederberg and A Rich and Jerry S. Hubbard and George L. Hobby and Patricia Ann Straat and Bonnie J. Berdahl and Glenn C. Carle and Frederick S. Brown and R. D. Johnson},
  pages={105 - 99}
Three different types of biological experiments on samples of martian surface material ("soil") were conducted inside the Viking lander. In the carbon assimilation or pyrolytic release experiment, 14CO2 and 14CO were exposed to soil in the presence of light. A small amount of gas was found to be converted into organic material. Heat treatment of a duplicate sample prevented such conversion. In the gas exchange experiment, soil was first humidified (exposed to water vapor) for 6 sols and then… Expand
The Viking Gas Exchange Experiment results from Chryse and Utopia surface samples
Immediate gas changes occurred when untreated Martian surface samples were humidified and/or wet by an aqueous nutrient medium in the Viking lander gas exchange experiment. The evolutions of N2, CO2,Expand
The laboratory research carried out with Martian soil analogues shows that the most probable source of positive data obtained by the Viking stations is chemical reactions of nutrient compound decayExpand
Chemical model for Viking biology experiments: implications for the composition of the martian regolith
THE 1976 Mars Viking biology experiments were designed to detect life by observing the products of biochemical reactions. In the labelled-release (LR) experiments1–4, about 25 nmol of 14C-labelledExpand
Simulations of the Viking Gas Exchange Experiment using palagonite and Fe-rich montmorillonite as terrestrial analogs: implications for the surface composition of Mars.
Simulations of the Gas Exchange Experiment (GEX), one of the Viking Lander Biology Experiments, were run using palagonite and Fe-rich montmorillonite as terrestrial analogs of the Martian soil; acidic components may be present, but the overall mixture must be basic in order to simulate the Viking GEX results. Expand
Model of the fine-grain component of martian soil based on Viking lander data
The value of the sorbtional specific surface of the martian soil (from CO2 evolution in GEX (gas exchange experiments) of Viking craft) is more than an order of magnitude greater than the value ofExpand
Carbonate formation in Marslike environments
Carbonate growth was examined within rock powders subjected to Marslike environmental simulations. Rates of growth under experimental conditions were 1012–1013 molecules cm−3 s−1 with or without anExpand
The chemical activities of the Viking biology experiments and the arguments for the presence of superoxides, peroxides, gamma-Fe2O3 and carbon suboxide polymer in the Martian soil.
From the working model, the peculiar nature of the chemical entities is predicted and it is demonstrated that the model is justified by laboratory data. Expand
Organics on Mars
Abstract Organics are expected to exist on Mars based on meteorite infall, in situ production, and any possible biological sources. Yet they have not been detected on the martian surface; are theyExpand
Organics on Mars?
A primary focus of the upcoming Mars Science Laboratory will be the detection and identification of organic molecules by means of thermal volatilization, followed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry--as was done on Viking. Expand
Viking on Mars: The carbon assimilation experiments
A fixation of atmospheric carbon, presumably into organic form, occurs in Martian surface material under conditions approximating the actual Martian ones. The reaction showed the followingExpand


Measurement of CO(2) Assimilation in Soils: an Experiment for the Biological Exploration of Mars.
The detection of significant levels of C in the trapped organic fraction appears to be an unambiguous indication of biological activity. Expand
Detection of metabolically produced labeled gas - The Viking Mars Lander.
A qualitative, nonspecific method will test for life on Mars in 1976 by supplying radioactive substrates to samples of the planetary surface material. If microorganisms are present, they mayExpand
The Gas Exchange Experiment for life detection - The Viking Mars Lander.
Abstract The Gas Exchange Experiment of the Viking mission accepts a sample of Martian soil, incubates this soil with nutrient medium, and periodically samples the enclosed atmosphere over this soilExpand
Photocatalytic Production of Organic Compounds from CO and H(2)O in a Simulated Martian Atmosphere.
It is suggested that organic synthesis results from adsorption of CO and H(2)O on surfaces, with excitation of one or both molecules occurring at wavelengths longer than those absorbed by the free gases. Expand
Search for Organic and Volatile Inorganic Compounds in Two Surface Samples from the Chryse Planitia Region of Mars
Two surface samples collected from the Chryse Planitia region of Mars were heated to temperatures up to 500�C, and the volatiles that they evolved were analyzed with a gas chromatograph-massExpand
Microbiology of the dry valleys of antarctica.
The kinds, numbers, and distribution of soil microorganisms in the valleys are investigated in order to gain insight into the practical problems of searching for life in an extreme environment and as they apply to martian exploration. Expand
The carbon-assimilation experiment: The Viking Mars Lander
Abstract The carbon-assimilation experiment detects life in soils by measuring the incorporation of carbon from 14CO and 14CO2 into organic matter. It is based on the premise that Martian life, if itExpand
Integration of experiments for the detection of biological activity in extraterrestrial exploration.
An experimental design which could detect growth, catabolic and anabolic activity on a single sample is described. Expand
  • G. Levin
  • Chemistry, Medicine
  • Advances in applied microbiology
  • 1963
Radioisotope techniques through their extreme sensitivity render extended incubation of organisms unnecessary and can meet the important requirement for speed, which can be significantly improved by using isotopes to explore biological vagaries and errors introduced through imperfect methodology. Expand
The solubility of carbon dioxide, krypton, and xenon has been measured at 1 Atm and at temperatures of 25, 30, 37, and 45° in distilled water and aqueous solution. Expand