Fungi creepily infiltrates space stations — but scientists aren’t scared. They’re excited

In 1988, astronauts aboard the now-retired Russian space station Mir realized that something had blanketed one of their windows — from the outside. The thing had even started trudging its way within the station by slowly destroying the window’s titanium-quartz surface. It was later revealed that the blanket was, in fact, fungi that had piggybacked to space. And it got there by hugging onto the astronauts themselves. 

This fungi had managed to adapt to the space environment, and so well that it not only survived but thrived on windows, control panels, air conditioners and cable insulators. It even contaminated the crew’s precious food and water supply. Although this incident was the first time a fungus was found significantly damaging the space station, it was not the last. 

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