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GC-MS on the Viking 1976 Mars missions did not detect organic molecules on …


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Table
- The missing organic molecules on Mars


 
Table 1.   Expected Metastable Products from Organic Substances in the Murchison meteorite5,6

 


Substance Concentration (parts per million) Metastable Products

Acid insoluble kerogen 14500 Benzenecarboxylic acids
Aliphatic hydrocarbons 12-35 Acetate
Aromatic hydrocarbons 15-28 Benzenecarboxylic acids
Monocarboxylic acids  approx330 Acetate/oxalate
2-Hydroxycarboxylic acids 14.6 Acetate/carbonate
Alcohols (primary) 11 Acetate
Aldehydes 11 Acetate
Ketones 16 Acetate, benzenecarboxylic acids
Amines 10.7 Acetate
Urea 25 Carbonate
Heterocycles 12 Carbonate, other products

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Source: Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA Vol. 97, Issue 6, 2425-2430, March 14, 2000


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