The microbes present on the International Space Station, have been regularly monitored by NASA. In fact, in every few months the samples have been collected and analyzed from different locations of each module by the American space agency.
There’s always a presence of microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi wherever humans are. After examining the microbes found on the ISS, scientists have discovered huge similarities between the microbes present on the ISS and those that are present in human environments on Earth. In which, few of them are making people sick.
Major Actions have been Taken to Increase Protection against Microbes on Space-station
NASA is taking some actions such as cleaning and monitoring the cargo before the launch that reaches the ISS and also the vehicle that carries the cargo to examine the microorganisms. The astronauts are additionally isolated and well-examined, before traveling to the ISS.
According to the information given by Mark Ott, a microbiologist at the Johnson Space Center, the Russian space agency named as Roscosmos also monitors the organisms on the ISS modules. The collected samples are separated to know whether they are fungi or bacteria. Scientists identified the microorganisms on them while returning to Earth. On multiple occasions, some of the identified microbes were suspected for serious health hazards, but found to be harmless later on.
Ott stated that all the scientists should be careful in interpreting results about the microorganisms while investigating several processes to monitor the spacecraft for organisms. He added that the International Space Station should be closely monitored by NASA to ensure a healthy and safe atmosphere for all the astronauts.
How NASA is Taking Care of Health in Space
NASA collected samples from different locations in ISS and from the astronauts. The samples could help determine the possible effects of long-term space travel in an individual’s immune system, and also for keeping an eye on the effects of one’s micro-biomes.
In relation to this, Sloan Foundation with whom an agency is partnered with, have learnt about the adaptation, colonization and evolution of microorganisms in space, with reference to the microbial environment in the space station. The same partnership should support the research on the micro-biome of the environment.