Bacteria found on the outside of the International Space station could be alien life, according to a cosmonaut who has visited the satellite.

Spacewalkers regularly take samples and materials from the outside of the station when they head outside for what are officially called “extravehicular activity”. Those samples are then taken down to scientists on Earth, who study them to understand the workings of the International Space Station and possibly life in space.

“Bacteria that had not been there during the launch of the ISS module were found on the swabs,” Mr Shkaplerov told TASS. “So they have flown from somewhere in space and settled on the outside hull.”

He made clear that “it seems, there is no danger​”, and that scientists are doing more work to find out what they are.

He said also that similar missions had found bacteria that could survive temperatures between -150 degrees celsius and 150. That bacteria appears to have made its way from Earth – but suggests that it can survive in the harsh environments of space.

Source: Bacteria found on International Space Station may be alien in origin, says cosmonaut | The Independent