Planetary Probe, Viking, Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer

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    Planetary Probe, Viking, Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer, PLANETARY PROBE, VIKING, GAS CHROMATOGRAPH MASS SPECTROMETER

    Contains Mechanical and electrical subsystems. Development test model for Viking Mars landing project.

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    Planetary Probe, Viking, Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer, PLANETARY PROBE, VIKING, GAS CHROMATOGRAPH MASS SPECTROMETER

    Contains Mechanical and electrical subsystems. Development test model for Viking Mars landing project.

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    Planetary Probe, Viking, Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer, PLANETARY PROBE, VIKING, GAS CHROMATOGRAPH MASS SPECTROMETER

    Contains Mechanical and electrical subsystems. Development test model for Viking Mars landing project.

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    Usage Conditions Apply

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    Planetary Probe, Viking, Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer, PLANETARY PROBE, VIKING, GAS CHROMATOGRAPH MASS SPECTROMETER

    Contains Mechanical and electrical subsystems. Development test model for Viking Mars landing project.

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The Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer (GCMS) experiment was carried aboard each of the Viking spacecraft landers that reached the red planet in 1976. It was intended to detect evidence of bological material in the Martian soil. It took a small soil sample, separated volatile elements using a gas chromatograph, and analyzed their composition with a mass spectrometer. It provided a way of resolving any ambiguities that might arise from the three biology experiments - the gas exchange (GEX) experiment, the labeled release experiment, and the pyrolitic release experiment.

While the GCMS found no trace of biological processes on the surface of Mars, scientist Gilbert Levin believes that the GCMS instrument sent to Mars could easily have missed biologically significant amounts of organic matter in the soil, as it had in a number of tests on Earth.

This Viking Gas Chronometer Mass Spectrometer is identical to the instruments on Mars that were used to measure the composition of the atmosphere and search for organic compounds in the Martian soil.