Russian scientists believe in the near future, a hazardous bacteria could arrive from space either on the likes of a meteorite or on returning equipment.
As the bacteria would be completely unknown here on Earth, experts are unsure how life on our planet or the bacteria itself would react.
Alternatively, bacteria which is carried away from Earth and mutates in space may pose a threat to us when it returns.
This was highlighted in an experiment called ‘Biorisk’. Experts have been analysing bacteria that was on the outside of the International Space Station (ISS) since 2005.
According to the report from Russian scientists, the bacteria mutated to become highly aggressive and resistant to some antibiotics.
Russian cosmonauts also took 68 different organisms, including bacteria, insects, vertebrate animal and higher plants into their section of the ISS.
And they found that eggs of crustaceans and caviar of African toothcarp fish managed to survive in the harsh conditions of space for two and a half years and could be revived once they returned to Earth.
The report, which was prepared for the International Committee on Space Research in the US later in July, read: “The living organisms are capable of surviving in outer space.
“Hypothetically, in distant future, the arrival of alien substances from other planets to Earth may be possible as well as to other planets from Earth.
“In addition, the danger is posed by terrestrial microorganisms that returned from space after visiting another planet and transforming in an unknown manner in its atmosphere.”
Researchers plan to use the findings to help prepare Earth for any potential hazardous bacteria that might reach the planet in the future.
The findings of the ‘Biorisk’ experiment “are not only of significant scientific interest, but also invaluable from the practical point of view for the justification of the planetary quarantine strategy during future interplanetary flights.”