In June 2013, Popular Science Magazine published an article called ‘Bacteria at 33,000 Feet: Great, now what? In the midst of airborne sea salt and dust, researchers from Georgia Tech unexpectedly found thousands of living fungal cells and bacteria, including E. coli and Streptococcus.
More recently, NASA reports that astronauts are just beginning to learn about fungal presence in space. In an article from Harvard Science Review, author Tristan Wang states, “Fungal interaction with gravity and radiation seem to come right out of a science-fiction novel, but their implication as a nutritional and yet destructive entity is real. “People have looked for extra-terrestrial life for generations, and it seems that only now are we noticing the most interesting, important and fuzzy aliens so far.”Molds have been found in outer space and also growing on and in on both U.S. and Russian space ships.
“Fungi are extremophiles that can survive harsh conditions and environments like deserts, caves, or nuclear accident sites, and they are known to be difficult to eradicate from other environments including indoor and outdoor space,” study co-author and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory scientist Kasthuri Venkateswaran, Ph.D., said in a statement.
In July 2017, NASA scientists discovered that certain kinds of fungi can colonize the human body and increase in number while humans live in small, closed habitats like the International Space Station.
For an interesting article on mold in space, check out this article from Harvard Science Review.
Also read the Mold-Help article about mold on ISS.