Thursday, 10 March 2016

Sniffing for Life on Mars: ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter Goes to Search for Martian Life

An artist’s impression of the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter. Image courtesy of ATG medialab/ESA.

Joel Kontinen

The evolutionary worldview has life popping up in all places where it could potentially be possible. Next week, the European Space Agency (ESA) is sending the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) towards the red planet on a Russian Proton rocket from Baikonur in Kazakhstan.

The orbiter carries a lander named Schiaparelli. The agency aims to find out whether there could be any kind of life on Mars.

The TGO is packed with very sensitive instruments. An article in New Scientist explains how they will be used:

Previous sightings of methane by NASA’s Curiosity rover, along with other orbiters and telescopes, have proved confusing, as the gas seems to be more short-lived than expected. To get to the bottom of this mystery, TGO is equipped with two suites of spectrometers designed to sniff out the planet’s atmospheric gases down to tiny amounts, a camera to photograph potential ground sources, and neutron detector to map water ice down to a metre below the surface.”

New Scientist goes on to say:

Those tiny amounts – the trace gases that give TGO its name – will crack the planet’s methane secrets. If the methane is accompanied by a whiff of sulphur dioxide, and traced to geological features on the surface, active volcanism is the most likely cause. Methane laced with higher levels of the isotope carbon-12, which is preferred by life on Earth, would point to a biological origin – though we would still be far from confirming that there is life on Mars.”

Evolutionists seem to have a big dilemma. On Earth, life appears in extreme conditions, so they assume it should also exist on other worlds.

However, although Mars orbits the Sun in the habitable zone just like our planet and Venus, it does not appear to be very habitable. It lacks the fine tuning Earth has – for instance, a big moon at the right distance – for keeping it habitable.

Earth seems to be unique.

And we should not forget that life only comes from life. It requires hi-tech design and genetic information. Without these, no gases can ever produce life.

It has to be created, as the book of Genesis says.


Aron, Jacob. 2016. ExoMars probe set to sniff out signs of life on the Red Planet New Scientist (7 March).