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Slide 10 of 16
The LR worked as follows: A sample of Martian soil was placed inside a special container and a radioactively labeled liquid nutrient snack was dropped onto the sample. Evolution of radioactive gas from the soil was detected by a nuclear sensor, suggesting that lifeforms in the soil had interacted with the liquid nutrient. The LR was positive in unheated samples and negative in heated samples at both Viking landing sites - some 6,500 km apart.