NASA recently announced they have discovered a brand new species of life. This new life form, a microbe bacteria was NOT discovered on Mars, the Moon or in space at all. Instead the discovery was made here on Earth inside one of their sterilized clean rooms built for building spacecraft...
Although this is exciting news, I can't help but imagine the discovery was made not by highly educated researchers with with grants funded by well established universities, but instead by a janitor with a mop... haha!!
The US space agency uses sterilized rooms to build spacecraft for missions to other planets to help avoid any contamination that may hinder the search for life.Theses 'clean rooms' are kept extremely dry and cleaned with chemicals to ensure a sterile environment. The rooms are also equipped with negative air pressure to keep any unwanted contaminants out. In addition, workers operating inside wear special suits and there are ultraviolet lights and heat treatments that are put into effect to kill off any life on the objects that go into the room.
NASA has revealed that it has discovered a hardy new species of microbe that has is able to survive in this highly inhospitable environment.
The berry-shaped bacteria, called Teriscoccus Phoenicis, is so unusual that it has been classified not just as a new species but also a new genus. Scientists said they have now found the bacteria in two separate clean rooms - one in Florida where NASA's Mars Phoenix Lander was constructed and at the European Space Agency's facility in Kourou, French Guiana.
"This particular bug survives with almost no nutrients," said Parag Vaishampayan, a microbiologist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.
The name for the bacteria comes from Tersi, the Latin for clean, and coccus, which is Greek for berry. Phoenicis is derived from the Phoenix Mars Lander, the spacecraft was being constructed when the bacterium was first collected in floor swabs.