The international space station is full of bacteria and fungi that can cause illnesses and form biofilms that promote antibiotic resistance and can even corrode the spacecraft.
Established in 1998, which circles about 250 miles above Earth, it has visited more than 222 astronauts and up to six energy supply missions annually by August 2017.
NASA scientists have discovered microbes that mostly came from humans and were similar to those in public buildings and offices here on Earth.
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A study was published in the journal – the first to provide a comprehensive directory of bacteria and fungi on the inner surfaces in closed space systems. Microbiome.
Dr. Kasthuri Venkateswaran, a senior research scientist at NASA's jet engine and one of the study's authors, said: "ISS is a sealed closed system, subjected to microgravity, radiation, increased carbon dioxide and air recirculation through HEPA filters. , and is considered an "extreme environment". "
He noted that it is known that microbes survive or even progress in extreme conditions. Microbes present at the International Space Station may have existed since the beginning of the cell work, he added, while others could be introduced every time new astronauts or cargoes arrive.
Dr. Venkateswaran added: "The impact of indoor microbial on human health becomes increasingly important for astronauts during flights due to altered immunity associated with space flights and the lack of sophisticated medical interventions available on Earth.
"In the light of the upcoming new era of human expansion in the universe, such as the future journey of the universe on Mars, a microbial closed space environment needs to be thoroughly investigated to identify the types of microorganisms that can accumulate in this unique environment, long lasting and surviving its influence on human health and infrastructure of spacecraft. "
Researchers say the study can be used as an aid to improving security measures that meet NASA's requirements for living in the deep universe.