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Russian cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) may have discovered the first case of alien life after allegedly finding bacteria on the hull of the space station.
This bacteria was not there at the launch of the ISS and therefore could have come from outer space.
"Bacteria that had not been there during the launch of the ISS module were found on the swabs," confirmed Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, who was part of a team of scientists aboard the orbiting station.
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"That is, they came from somewhere in outer space and settled on the outside of the station," he told a Russian news outlet.
© Mikhail Metzel\TASS via Getty Images Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L) awards cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov an Order for Merit to the Fatherland
Flight engineer Shkaplerov will take his third trip to the ISS in December as part of the Expedition 54 crew. He revealed that scientists found the bacteria while taking samples from the exterior surface of the station during a previous mission.
They are currently being analysed to find out if they really are extra-terrestrial in nature. Some bacteria originating from Earth (specifically, Madagascar) has been found to survive the vacuum of space after being lifted off our planet by a phenomenon known as "ionosphere lift".
© Stanislav Krasilnikov\TASS via Getty Images Roscosmos cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov (L) and NASA astronauts Scott Tingle of ISS Expedition 53/54
It has been known to attach itself to the surface of the space station which is orbiting 20km above the Earth.
Cosmonaut Shkaplerov insisted that the bacteria found on the station is not dangerous to humans.