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New Bacterial Life-Form Discovered in NASA and ESA Spacecraft Clean Rooms

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High atop a platform inside a clean room at the European Space Agency’s (ESA) launch site in South America, scientists painstakingly searched for microbes near the Ariane 5 rocket due to launch the Herschel space telescope in May 2009. Only very unusual organisms can survive the repeated sterilization procedures in clean rooms, not to mention the severe lack of nutrients available. But the scientists’ careful inspection was fruitful, turning up a type of bacteria that had never been seen before.

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