Has bacteria from space been found on the station's hull ? Image Credit: NASA
Cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov has indicated that bacteria found on the space station could have come from space.
While it is not unheard of to find microorganisms from Earth on the outside of the International Space Station, Shkaplerov, who will be returning to the orbital outpost in December, claims that scientists have collected samples of bacteria from the station's hull that may have come from another world.
"It turns out that somehow these swabs reveal bacteria that were absent during the launch of the ISS module," he said. "That is, they have come from outer space and settled along the external surface."
"They are being studied so far and it seems that they pose no danger."
While his comments are intriguing, the claim that this bacteria could be extraterrestrial in origin must be taken with quite a large pinch of salt, at least until more definitive test results are obtained.
It is quite possible that these microorganisms ended up on the space station's hull through a phenomenon known as 'ionosphere lift' and are in fact from Earth, not from space.
Exactly why Shkaplerov is so convinced that this is not the case remains unclear.
Source: Russia Today | Comments (35)