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Plankton discovered outside space station


Posted on Wednesday, 20 August, 2014 | Comment icon 69 comments

How did the plankton get on to the station ? Image Credit: NASA
Astronauts have been left perplexed after traces of sea plankton were found on the station's exterior.
The out-of-place organisms, which were discovered clinging to the station's external windows and walls, seemed to have somehow found their way there from the oceans back on Earth.

"The results of the experiment are absolutely unique," said Russia's chief space station scientist Vladimir Solovyev. "We have found traces of sea plankton and microscopic particles on the illuminator surface. This should be studied further."

It is thought that the organisms could have survived on the exterior of the station for a long time and may have even been there during the outpost's initial stages of construction.

The plankton appears to be the typical type found on the surface of Earth's oceans however the specimens recovered from the space station are not native to Baikonur in Khazakstan, the area from which the station's components were originally launched.

"This is not typical for Baikonur," said Solovyev. "It means that there are some uplifting air currents which reach the station and settle on its surface."

Source: Inquisitr.com | Comments (69)

Tags: Plankton, International Space Station

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #60 Posted by pallidin on 24 August, 2014, 20:54
This is a finding with curious speculative, inconclusive causation. But that's the nature of "discovery" science, and I hope they will continue to investigate(as funding permits)
Comment icon #61 Posted by seeder on 20 September, 2014, 14:00
No further updates on this story then?
Comment icon #62 Posted by bison on 20 September, 2014, 16:05
Someone from the German Space Agency has reportedly addressed this issue within the past couple of days. It does appear that bacterial plankton was found on the ISS. Whether it was alive at that time is still not clear, although this was originally claimed. The origin of the plankton remain speculative. Some atmospheric transport mechanism, carrying it up from Earth's surface has been suggested. http://www.openminds...kton-iss/30035
Comment icon #63 Posted by MyOtherAccount on 21 September, 2014, 7:32
I was wondering about that, too.
Comment icon #64 Posted by Avanter on 30 September, 2014, 15:17
We dont have enought data about this plancton. So, i will imagine some scenarios: It is a lifeform that : lives without breathing air: possible. Gets its oxigene from internal bactery, or smething like clorofy that produces ithe oxigen that it needs: possible Proceed from deep space and colonized earth long time ago. Properties unknowed: possible Then it can get bigger and forms like yellowfish bioform, that fly: possibe reason for ufo?, who knows. This is my theory about ufos. Ufos are bioforms. The animals can produce light, they can fly or swim, ....
Comment icon #65 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 30 September, 2014, 15:30
We dont have enought data about this plancton. Except that the original report identified this as terrestrial marine plankton. Where it comes from is not in doubt... Earth's oceans, how it got there (if indeed the report is not a mistake) is the question.
Comment icon #66 Posted by Lilly on 30 September, 2014, 16:33
... how it got there (if indeed the report is not a mistake) is the question. Sucked up into the atmosphere somehow?
Comment icon #67 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 30 September, 2014, 16:56
Sucked up into the atmosphere somehow? If it did manage to get sucked up into the atmosphere high enough to reach the Space Station it would be an incredible discovery. It would mean that life could be lifted off of a planet's surface to possibly reach another planet. It would be a big plus in the case for panspermia. However this is one report that has never been verified. It most certainly is not from a peer reviewed paper. Things have gone suspiciously quiet since the initial news report.
Comment icon #68 Posted by Lilly on 30 September, 2014, 18:45
...However this is one report that has never been verified. It most certainly is not from a peer reviewed paper. Things have gone suspiciously quiet since the initial news report. Ah ha, so there might not even be any pankton on the ISS.
Comment icon #69 Posted by lightly on 1 October, 2014, 1:35
Snap, I tried to go back to the link and it has stopped working. Here is my question is the plankton alive? I am with Nat, I would love to see the slide of what kind it is. Welcome to UM Nat. That's what i wondered... so i read the article, and it says that "TRACES of plankton" were discovered. I would assume that "traces of plankton" would not be living plankton. the article went on to say . . "It is thought that the organisms could have survived on the exterior of the station for a long time and may have even been there during the outpost's initial stages of construction." so it seems no one... [More]


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