Bacteria & # 39; outer space & # 39; found in the space station, says Cosmonaut: Report



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  Bacteria & # 39; outer space & # 39; found on the space station, Cosmonaut says: Report

The International Space Station, photographed by an astronaut aboard the space shuttle Endeavor on February 10, 2010.

Credit: NASA / JPL – Caltech / Space Science Institute [19659004] Scientists detected living bacteria "from outer space" in samples collected outside the International Space Station (ISS) during spacewalks, said cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov at the Russian state agency TASS. [19659005] These spacewalks were conducted by cosmonauts, who collected material from the Russian side of the ISS using cotton swabs, which were sent to Earth for badysis, said Shkaplerov.

"And now it turns out that somehow these sticks reveal bacteria that were absent during the launch of the ISS module," Shkaplerov told TASS. "That is to say, they have come from outer space and have settled along the outer surface, they are being studied so far, and it seems that they do not represent any danger."

In the brief TASS report, Shkaplerov does not elaborate on how the Russian researchers reached their extraterrestrial conclusion. As CNET points out, it seems that land contamination would be difficult to rule out, given how resistant many microorganisms are. Some tiny bacteria and microanimals known as tardigrades have demonstrated the ability to survive for prolonged periods in the harsh conditions of space.

And it is possible that terrestrial organisms have accidentally arrived at the ISS before, if a disputed claim of 2014 by Russian space officials is to be believed. At that time, space station officer Vladimir Solovyov announced, also through TASS, that marine plankton and other microorganisms had been detected in the cosmonaut samples in the spacewalk.

The badertion of the marine plankton and that of Shkaplerov are based on Russian research, so NASA does not have much to say about it. In fact, a NASA spokesman forwarded questions about the space bacterium from Shkaplerov to Roscosmos, the Russian federal space agency.

Shkaplerov has served two periods on board the ISS and is ready to launch his third mission next month.

You can read the full history of TASS here: https://tbad.com/science/977591

Follow Mike Wall on Twitter @michaeldwall and Google+. Follow us @Spacedotcom Facebook or Google+. Originally published on Space.com.

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