The bacteria were brought to the space station accidentally on tablet PCs together with various materials that are placed aboard the ISS for long time to study the materials' behavior in outer space
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According to the state owned Russian news agency “TASS”, a Russian cosmonaut on board the International Space Station claims to have discovered a living bacteria from outer space on the surface of the Russian segment of the International Space Station (ISS), according to Shkaplerov, during spacewalks from the International Space Station under the Russian program, the cosmonauts took samples with cotton swabs from the station’s external surface. In particular, they took probes from places where the accumulation of fuel wastes were discharged during the engines’ operation or at places where the station’s surface is more obscure. After that, the samples were sent back to Earth and are being studied but most likely they don’t pose any sort of danger.

And now it turns out that somehow these swabs reveal bacteria that were absent during the launch of the ISS module. 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, the Russian astronaut said.

Some terrestrial bacteria also survived on the space station’s external surface, though they had remained within a space vacuum for three years. In addition to that, they underwent sharp swings in temperature from minus 150 to plus 150 degrees Celsius, he noted.

Bacteria from outer space  /  image by Gerd Altmann  /  source  /  license CC0

The bacteria were brought to the space station accidentally on tablet PCs together with various materials that are placed aboard the ISS for long periods to study the materials’ behavior in outer space.

Cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov  /  image by NASA, Bill Ingalls  /  source  /  license CC0

Expedition 53 backup crew member Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos waits to enter the Soyuz simulator as he and fellow backup crew members Shannon Walker and Scott Tingle of NASA participate in their Soyuz qualification exams, Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017 at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC) in Star City, Russia.

Anton Shkaplerov participates in a session of EVA on February 2012  /  image by NASA  /  source  /  license CC0

Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, Expedition 30 flight engineer, participates in a session of extravehicular activity (EVA) to continue outfitting the International Space Station. During the six-hour, 15-minute spacewalk, Shkaplerov and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko (out of frame), flight engineer, moved the Strela-1 crane from the Pirs Docking Compartment to begin preparing the Pirs for its replacement next year with a new laboratory and docking module. The duo used another boom, the Strela-2, to move the hand-operated crane to the Poisk module for future assembly and maintenance work. Both telescoping booms extend like fishing rods and are used to move massive components outside the station. On the exterior of the Poisk Mini-Research Module 2 (MRM2), they also installed the Vinoslivost Materials Sample Experiment, which will investigate the influence of space on the mechanical properties of the materials. The spacewalkers also collected a test sample from underneath the insulation on the Zvezda Service Module to search for any signs of living organisms. Both spacewalkers wore Russian Orlan spacesuits bearing blue stripes and equipped with NASA helmet cameras.

Cygnus Spacecraft Attached to Space Station's Unity Module  /  image by NASA  /  source  /  license CC0

Orbital ATK's Cygnus cargo craft (left) is seen from the Cupola module windows aboard the International Space Station on Oct. 23, 2016. The main robotic work station for controlling the Canadarm2 robotic arm is located inside the Cupola and was used to capture Cygnus upon its arrival. The Expedition 49 crew will unload approximately 5,000 pounds of science investigations, food and supplies from the newly arrived spacecraft. The cargo aboard the Cygnus will support dozens of new and existing investigations as the space station crews of Expeditions 49 and 50 contribute to about 250 science and research studies. The new experiments include studies on fire in space, the effect of lighting on sleep and daily rhythms, collection of health-related data, and a new way to measure neutrons.

The International Space Station  /  image by NASA, Crew of STS-132  /  source  /  license CC0

A rearward view of the International Space Station backdropped by the limb of the Earth. In view are the station's four large, gold-coloured solar array wings, two on either side of the station, mounted to a central truss structure. Further along the truss are six large, white radiators, three next to each pair of arrays. In between the solar arrays and radiators is a cluster of pressurised modules arranged in an elongated T shape, also attached to the truss. A set of blue solar arrays are mounted to the module at the aft end of the cluster.

Shkaplerov will be the head of the space station’s new crew, which is set to take off to the world’s sole orbiter on December 17.

Source and references

  1. Russian News Agency TASS - Scientists find living bacteria from outer space on ISS satellite’s surface
  2. by Jake Anderson - Russian Aboard International Space Station Claims to Have Found Alien Life
  3. - Anton Shkaplerov

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Last updated 5 years ago on November 30, 2017 at 6:59 PM PST

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