Microbes on the ISS could affect astronauts’ health


Although the study could not yet determine the severity of the bacteria, it has opened the door for more research into the space station’s “indoor microbiome”. The damage from the microbes is not yet known. “The influence of the indoor microbiome on human health becomes more important for astronauts during flights due to altered immunity associated with space flight and the lack of sophisticated medical interventions that are available on Earth,” Senior Research Scientist Dr Kasthuri Venkateswaran, at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) declared.

Microbes prelevation on the ISS

Another danger was also identified because as Dr Camilla Urbaniak revealed “Some of the microorganisms we identified on the ISS have also been implicated in microbial induced corrosion on Earth.” NASA has created a comprehensive catalogue of all the microbes on the space station. The agency hopes this knowledge will help it develop safety precautions for future long-term space travel. The first long time residents on the ISS arrived in November 2000. The station is expected to operate until 2030. Several new elements are scheduled for launch in 2019. The ISS circles the Earth in roughly 92 minutes and completes 15.5 orbits per day maintaining an orbit with an altitude of between 330 and 435 km.


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