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Sea Plankton Found in Space!


Robongo

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2728979/Never-mind-alien-life-SEA-PLANKTON-space-Creatures-living-surface-ISS-officials-say.html

Traces of plankton and other microorganisms have been found living on the exterior of the International Space Station (ISS), according to Russian space officials.

They claim the plankton were not carried there at launch – but are thought to have been blown there by air currents on Earth.

Incredibly, the tiny organisms were found to be able to survive in the vacuum of space despite the freezing temperatures, lack of oxygen and cosmic radiation.

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Plankton have been found living on the exterior of the International Space Station (pictured), according to Russian space officials. They think the microorganisms could have been blown there by air currents on Earth

The discovery was made during a routine spacewalk by Russian cosmonauts Olek Artemyev and Alexander Skvortsov, who were launching nanosatellites into space.

They used wipes to polish the surface of windows - also known as illuminators - on the Russian segment of the ISS and later found the presence of plankton and other microorganisms using ‘high-precision equipment’.

‘The results of the experiment are absolutely unique,’ said the head of the Russian ISS orbital mission Vladimir Solovyev.

‘We have found traces of sea plankton and microscopic particles on the illuminator surface. This should be studied further.’

The plankton are not known to be indigenous to Baikonur, Kazakhstan, where the Russian modules of the station blasted off from.

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Experts claim that the plankton were not carried there at launch, because they are marine microorganisms not indigenous to the blast-off site in Kazakhstan – but are thought to have been blown there by air currents on Earth. A SEM microscope view of one type of plankton (not discovered on the ISS) is pictured

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The plankton are not known to be indigenous to Baikonur, Kazakhstan, (marked with 'A') where the Russian modules of the station blasted off from

Mr Solovyev is not absolutely sure ‘how these microscopic particles could have appeared on the surface of the space station,’ according to Russian news agency Itar-Tass.

But he thinks they they may have been 'uplifted' to the station at an altitude of 260 miles (420km).

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

‘This is not typical for Baikonur. It means that there are some uplifting air currents which reach the station and settle on its surface.’

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.

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Astroecologist Dr Michael Mautner is currently attempting to grow plants in meteorite soil (pictured) which he says is essential to provide food for any future colonies of humans on alien planets such as Mars

VEGETABLES PLANTED IN METERORITE SOIL COULD ONE DAY FEED HUMANS ON ALIEN PLANETS

Astroecologist, Dr Michael Mautner, thinks it is entirely possible to, in the future, directly grow certain plants on other planets, which he says will be vital for a future colony to survive on Mars.

Dr Mautner from Virginia Commonwealth University, researcher recently told Motherboard that meteorites often contain phosphate, nitrates, and even water that plants can feed on.

To grow the plants, Dr Mautner ground up meteorites to create something closely resembling soil.

‘A variety of soil bacteria, algae, and asparagus and potato tissue cultures grew well in these asteroid/meteorite soils and also in Martian meteorite soils,’ he said.

His plan is to eventually find several different plants and extraterrestrial soil types that provide the best conditions to farm in space.

Dr Mautner’s experiment is currently at a very early stage. For instance, he has not yet factored in the lack of oxygen on other planets, or the varying gravity conditions.

But, he believes, this is the first step to providing the tools needed for humans to better explore the solar system and beyond.


Wow this is fascinating stuff. Life in the universe is most likely far more common than we could have ever imagined.

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Wow this is fascinating stuff. Life in the universe is most likely far more common than we could have ever imagined.

Yet we have no proof that there is any other life in the universe. We cannot even create life on Earth. We can splice a seed into a million others but we cannot create a single seed out of its inorganic compounds. We can artificially fertilize a human egg in a lab but we cannot create the sperm or egg artificially. We have ideas but no proof of how life began on Earth. The old "life began on earth from a unknown natural mechanism that no longer exists" only further proves our lack of understanding of a fundamental part of existence. Until a completely natural understanding of the creation of life exists, we are clutching at straws as to what may or may not be out there. But we are going to find out. Both how life began here on Earth and we are going to find out what is out there. We are only getting started.

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Awesome.

We already know that micro animals such as the tardigrade are able to survive zones of immense heat, or the chilling vacuum of space. I never would have bet that plankton would survive the journey though. I guess there is just enough CO2 in that part of the thermosphere to allow them to breathe.

Lets send more plankton to space and create an atmosphere!

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Awesome.

We already know that micro animals such as the tardigrade are able to survive zones of immense heat, or the chilling vacuum of space. I never would have bet that plankton would survive the journey though. I guess there is just enough CO2 in that part of the thermosphere to allow them to breathe.

Lets send more plankton to space and create an atmosphere!

http://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/news/2013/bacteria-sent-into-space.html

http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0062437

The second link is beyond me...but if you fancy yourself a smarty pants.

If you are a Tardigrade like me, the first one is still interesting. I believe N.D.T on Cosmos touched on this exact study.

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http://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/news/2013/bacteria-sent-into-space.html

http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0062437

The second link is beyond me...but if you fancy yourself a smarty pants.

If you are a Tardigrade like me, the first one is still interesting. I believe N.D.T on Cosmos touched on this exact study.

Thanks for the links! I remember reading about that study a while back, and I enjoyed reading another article about it. I remember something about NDT referencing it as well. Those episodes will get a re-watch in the fall for sure.

The second link offers some very specific specifics in a field I rarely approach with such detail while wearing my smartassy pants, and I tend to wear those pretty regularly.

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Just learned that plankton is a broad term which includes bacteria. This is not so surprising considering that bacteria are found in certain parts of the deep sea where the energy doesn't even originate from the sun but from toxic fissures, which they apparently derive energy from. Those environments were thought to be impossible to survive in but bacteria found a way. (If you didn't find that convincing, read it again but with David Attenborough voice in your head)

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