Viking found organic compounds on Mars in 1976

Vik­ing Found Organ­ics on Mars, Exper­i­ment Con­firms : Dis­cov­ery News:

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Using Mars-like soil taken from Atacama Desert, a study con­firms Mars has organ­ics, and Vik­ing found them.

A reana­lys­is of Mars Vik­ing exper­i­ments shows the probes did find organ­ics.
The res­ult was not ini­tially under­stood due to the strong oxid­a­tion effects of a salt in the Mars soil known as per­chlor­ate.
A fol­low-up study on per­chlor­ate-enhanced soil sim­il­ar to what’s found on Mars revealed fin­ger­prints of com­bus­ted organ­ics.
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The Vik­ing 1 Lander, illus­trated in this mod­el, touched down on the west­ern slope of Mars’ Chryse Plani­tia (the Plains of Gold) on July 20, 1976.