October 1st, 2000

Astronauts vs. Fungus Boston Globe

The history books will never record it, but life in outer space was discovered about 12 years ago by a Russian cosmonaut as he was gazing out a window of the space station Mir. Squinting to set his sights on the passing Earth below, this space explorer instead focused on a thick living mat that had made its way up the window’s hard quartz surface, nearly obliterating any view. A microbiologist, Natalia Novikova, eventually identified the growth as an aggressive space fungus.