The findings of the recent experiments show that that some organisms are capable of living on the outer surface of the International Space Station (ISS), Vladimir Solovyev, head of the Russian segment of the ISS, has revealed.
Some studies suggest that these organisms may even develop in the hostile conditions of spaceflight, which include vacuum, low temperatures, radiation and others, he added.
“The results of the so-called ‘Test’ experiment are unique. On the surface of the [ISS] windows we found traces of marine plankton – the microparticles – that will become the subject of further studies,” Solovyev was quoted as saying by Itar-Tass.
While the experiments on the matter were finalized last year, it is still unclear how the microparticles could get all the way to the ISS, Solovyev stated.
“[Plankton in] such phases of development is found on the surface of the ocean. It isn’t characteristic to Baikonur,” he explained, referring to Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan from where crew and cargo deliveries to ISS are launched.
“It turns out that there are some rising air currents, which settle on the surface of the station,” Solovyev added.
"Life in space? Sea plankton discovered attached to ISS outer hull." RT. N.p.,
20 Aug. 2014. Web. 15 Sept. 2014.