A Russian official claims that samples collected by cosmonauts show evidence of sea plankton on the outside of the International Space Station, news agencies are reporting.
Cosmonauts on the orbiting outpost have allegedly discovered trace amounts of sea plankton and other microscopic organisms living on the outside of the station, exposed to the vacuum of space, according to a news story quoting space station official Vladimir Solovyov.
However, NASA has not confirmed the reports. "As far as we're concerned, we haven't heard any official reports from our Roscosmos colleagues that they've found sea plankton," NASA spokesman Dan Huot said. Roscosmos is Russia's Federal Space Agency. [5 Bold Claims of Alien Life]
The unconfirmed claims -- reported by ITAR-TASS -- were reportedly the result of a long-term study done using specialized equipment by Russians on the station, according to the news agency.
Although the cosmonauts did sample the outside of the space station and a window on one of the modules this week, they were not necessarily looking for traces of microbes, according to NASA.