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Living bacteria have been on the outer surface of the International Space Station, a Russian cosmonaut has reportedly claimed to Russian state media.

NASA officials, however, have not commented on the claims.

Anton Shkaplerov and his colleagues did spacewalks on the outside of the ISS, sampling the surface of the ISS with cotton swabs, he told TASS this week. Of particular interest were the nooks where fuel wastes had accumulated – or “at places where the station’s surface is more obscure,” according to the Russian report.

The bacteria has “come from outer space and settled along the external surface,” the cosmonaut reportedly told the state media source on Monday.

Other bacteria with Earth origins were also reportedly discovered on the swabs– though they had been exposed to the extreme temperature swings of space for several years.

Russia’s space agency previously said they had collected samples of sea plankton from the outer surface of the ISS, in 2014. NASA at the time said they were unaware of the sea plankton samples, as they told Space.com.

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