NASA accidentally destroyed samples from Mars delaying findings for decades

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Mars

NASA officials say they may have  discovered the so-called building blocks for life on Mars in the 1970s,  but accidentally burned the evidence.  After scientists found complex organic molecules on the Red Planet, they went back to earlier probe missions to examine why it took so long to find the matter.  It turns  out back in the 1970s, a Viking unit which landed did, in fact, detect the organic material, but inadvertently burned it when heating the sample up to 500 degrees for data analysis. This is backed up by the 2008 Phoenix Lander mission which found Martian soil contained a toxic and highly flammable compound called perchlorate.  The scientific  community was shocked when NASA announced they had found the organic building blocks of life earlier this year.

Photo: Getty Images

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