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Guest: Dr. Gil Levin; Topics: Martian life detection experiments, Independent Mars review panel, Viking Labeled Release experiment, NASA Mars life detection politics and more. Please direct all comments and questions regarding specific Space Show programs & guest(s) to the Space Show blog which is part of archived program on our website, www.thespaceshow.com. Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.
We welcomed Dr. Gil Levin back to the show to discuss many of the recent news articles about Gil's famous Viking Labeled Release life detection experiment, new analysis, and the June 7, 2018 NASA press conference pertaining to Martian life detection. During the first segment of our 2 segment 1 hour 29 minute discussion, Dr. Levin started off with new material based on the June 7, 2018 NASA News and Press Conference regarding Mars life detection. Dr. Levin, along with his Viking co-investigator Dr. Patricia Straat, posted a Forum Article about this press conference in Astrobiology Volume 18, Number 7 for 2018. Gil spent some time explaining his objections to the press conference content and the current status of "official" Mars life detection efforts. Please listen carefully to this discussion which covered most of the first segment as it was full of new information, analysis of the original data, and Gil's recommendations for future life detection experimentation.
Leonard David gave us a call during this segment asking about our ability to do life detection experiments at Europa or Enceladus given we don't seem to have our act together for life searching experiments for Mars. Don't miss what Gil had to say in response to Leonard's questions. Leonard and Gil had a very interesting discussion about NASA and Mars so don't miss it. Leonard wanted to know what was next and Gill looked at the evidence for Martian life including the Viking Labeled Release experiment, the discovery of seasonal methane on Mars, and the likely discovery of Martian fossil stromatolites. Don't miss what Gil said about these three evidentiary factors. Gil then added to the discussion the discovery of liquid water on Mars, Mars organics, Martian rock biology, and more. Before Leonard got off the phone, I asked him if he agreed with his 2013 statement on the show with Gil that he thought NASA was running away from finding life on Mars. Don't miss his 2018 response to his 2013 comment.
Other topics in the first segment addressed the trace gas orbiter with ESA plus planetary protection with the new planetary protection officer at NASA, Dr. Lisa Pratt. From here we turned our attention to the second segment of the program with Dr. Levin.
We started the second segment with Gil wanting to hear with people that disagreed with him about his analysis of the life search going on for Mars, such that it is a life search. As Gil was calling for an independent review panel to look over all the available data and information here on Earth relating to life on Mars and render an informed conclusion, he wanted to hear from listeners that disagreed with him and why. Not to many takers were on the show but if you have a better approach, a different suggestion or find fault with what Gil was saying and suggestion or even if you support his concept of a terrestrial independent review board for Mars life searches, please let him hear from you via this blog. I will make sure that Dr. Levin sees your blog post.
In addition to looking for feedback, Gil mentioned his attempt to get NASA to put his chiro labeled release experiment on a mission. He said he had been turned down even though the experiment took up very little size and mass. Don't miss what he said about this effort. We talked about his making a new effort with the new NASA Administration, the National Space Council and the congress of today, not the congress of several years ago. If you have a suggestion for Gil regarding his chiro labeled release experiment, let him hear from you. By the way, we have talked in detail about this updated version of the Viking labeled release experiment on past Space Show programs with Gil as the guest so check them out. Look in the program summary to see if the chiro experiment was discussed.
Before we ended the program, Gil talked about the issue involving stromatolites and kerogens. Don't miss what he had to say on these subject. We concluded with my suggesting that both Gil and Dr. Straat (she has yet to be a Space Show guest) return to the program with her added input in the discussion.
Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog for this show. You can reach Dr. Levin through me or his website, www.gillevin.com.