Sea Plankton Found Living Outside International Space Station (ISS)

The International Space Station
GROWING THINGS: The International Space Station.

Sea plankton found outside International Space Station (Stuff, Aug 20, 2014):

It’s not quite extraterrestrial life, but scientists have discovered sea plankton growing in space.

Russian space officials have confirmed traces of plankton and other micro-organisms were found living on the exterior of the International Space Station (ISS), and it appears they’ve been living there for years.

Russian astronaut Olek Artemyev and Alexander Skvortsov made the discovery after a routine spacewalk around the ISS, during which they took samples from illuminators on its surface, Russian news agency ITAR-TASS reported overnight.

High-precision equipment later revealed the presence of micro-organisms on the wipes.

Space officials claimed the plankton were not carried there at launch, but are thought to have been blown over by air currents on Earth.

The particles, invisible to the naked eye, were able to survive in the vacuum of space, despite zero gravity, freezing temperatures, lack of oxygen, and cosmic radiation.

Head of the Russian ISS orbital mission Vladimir Solovyev said the results of the experiment “are absolutely unique”.

He said the marine micro-organisms were not native to blast-off site Kazakhstan, and may have been “uplifted” to the station at an altitude of 420km.

“Plankton in these stages of development could be found on the surface of the oceans,” he said.

“This is not typical for Baikonur [in Kazakhstan]. It means that there are some uplifting air currents which reach the station and settle on its surface.”

He said the micro-organisms would be studied further.

Nasa is yet to comment on what this might mean for the American segment of the ISS, and whether similar findings have been made in the past.

6 thoughts on “Sea Plankton Found Living Outside International Space Station (ISS)

  1. Interesting. I think there is much about space we don’t know. When it comes to space, we are just beginning……
    I had some biology when I got my degree (had to study some sciences) and I remember when I was at an astronomers lab with my late partner, he was a Caltech super bright. I looked through this incredible telescope, and saw the birth of a new galaxy……it looked like sperm….the entire universe can probably be found to be likened to human development…….there is so much we don’t know.
    I have a grandson who is now 16. I told him if society survives, he might see and experience space travel…….but I fear we will be destroyed by Fukushima and other nuclear ‘accidents” before we make it. A great pity, there was a time we might have done it. Now, the US space program is dead…….and there are too many things going wrong.

  2. Could exceed Chernobyl? Might be 500% higher hitting the west coast than government estimated? I saw the national radiation monitors being shut down on this website……remember?

    Since they shut down the radiation monitors in early April of that deadly year of 2011 in the US, Canada and Norway… can a government do an estimate?

  3. If CBC says this, we need a lot of it to be broadcast…….
    Since TV is controlled by three corporations, the web, YouTube, and other places…….they all need to do their part. Our fish are dead, our ocean, that provided 50% of the world’s supply of oxygen is dead, our birds, animals, and soon…..people, will all die.

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