A lot of us out here in geek-world are big fans of all things space. It turns out a certain sect of microbes are also space groupies. The recently discovered species Tersicoccus phoenicis has shown up in two of the cleanest places on Earth: spacecraft clean rooms in Florida and South America, but have been found nowhere else.
Microbiologists like to do sweeps of these clean rooms to see what kind of microbes can survive in an environment designed to wipe out their kind. Those are exactly the sort of little creatures that are likely to hitchhike on spacecraft, and have the potential for contaminating off-world study sites.… Read more