A Russian astronaut who was assigned at the International Space Station says that he has caught forms of alien life while working at the orbiting laboratory.

Bacteria From Outer Space

Cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, who now prepares for his third trip to the space station next month, claims that he found bacteria clinging to the surface of the orbiting laboratory that did not come from the surface of our planet.

In an interview with Russian news agency Tass, Shkaplerov said that cosmonauts collected what could be an extraterrestrial bacteria when they swabbed the outside surface of the ISS during spacewalks years ago and the samples were sent back to Earth. He said that the bacteria were not there when the ISS module was launched and it is likely that these came from outer space.

"It turns out that somehow these swabs reveal bacteria that were absent during the launch of the ISS module," Shkaplerov said. "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."

Sea Plankton From Outside Of The Space Station

The collection of life forms from outside of the space station created a stir years earlier. Russian scientists claimed that sample from spacewalks yielded what appears to be sea plankton clinging to the space station.

NASA was surprised by these claims saying that it heard nothing from the Russians about space planktons.

"The Russians did take samples from one of the windows on the Russian segment, and what they're actually looking for is residues that can build up on the visually sensitive elements, like windows, as well as just the hull of the ship itself that will build up whenever they do thruster firings for things like re-boosts. That's what they were taking samples for. I don't know where all the sea plankton talk is coming from," NASA spokesman Dan Huot said in 2014.

The U.S. space agency is also yet to comment about the extraterrestrial bacteria that Shkaplerov claims to know about.

Microorganisms In Space

Earlier experiments have shown that microorganisms such as bacteria can survive in space. It is possible that undiscovered bacteria and other life forms that live in the upper atmosphere of our planet may have been picked up by the space station over the years it orbits around Earth.

Scientists are keen to understand how bacteria survive in space. NASA recently sent samples of E.coli bacteria in space to better understand how they respond to antibiotics in microgravity.

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