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Published January 1976 | public
Journal Article

The search for life in the solar system


The purpose of this account is to review the search for extraterrestrial life in the solar system in the light of present knowledge of the physical state of the planets. It is being written on the eve of the launch (August 1975) by the U.S. of two Viking spacecraft to Mars. These unmanned spacecraft, each consisting of an orbiter and an instrumented lander, are to perform the first biological exploration of another planet. The Viking mission, if successful, will answer. many of the questions posed in this paper. Furthermore, since Mars is the most plausible extraterrestrial habitat of life in the solar system, the Viking results are likely to have a strong influence on future explorations of this kind.

Additional Information

© 1976 American Chemical Society. Received April 17, 1975. Support from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Grant No. NGR 05-002-308, is gratefully acknowledged.

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October 20, 2023