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New life found in Nasa's spacecraft clean rooms

New life found in Nasa's spacecraft clean rooms

November 8, 2013 - Nasa does not need to travel to the stars to find new forms of life – it has discovered a new species of bacteria living in the special rooms used to build spacecraft.

The US space agency uses sterilised clean rooms to build spacecraft for missions to other planets to help avoid any contamination that may hinder the search for life.

These rooms are kept extremely dry, are cleaned with chemicals including bleach and have negative air pressure to keep out any contaminants.

Ultraviolet light and heat treatments are also used to kill off any life on objects that go in and workers are required to wear special suits.

However, Nasa has revealed that it has discovered a hardy new species of microbe that has is able to survive in this highly inhospitable environment.

Sources and more information:

New Bacteria Found in NASA, ESA Clean Rooms

Researchers this week revealed that a new genus of bacteria has been discovered in some of the cleanest places on Earth. A paper published in the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology names the new bacteria "Tersicoccus phoenicis." The "berry-shaped" bacteria was found in spacecraft clean rooms on two different...

( via telegraph.co.uk )


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