Microbiology

Several environmental factors play a role in determining the health, safety and efficiency of crewmembers. Investigators study environmental characteristics such as microbial conditions of air, water, and surfaces in the space vehicle to assure that conditions are safe for space crews.

Microorganisms are a part of life on Earth as well as in space. In general, humans live in harmony with the microbial world. The majority of microorganisms are harmless, and several are actually beneficial to humans. There are a small number of microbes, however, that can cause disease or infection and therefore are referred to as pathogenic. Long stays planned on space stations require protecting crews from these pathogenic microorganisms. The primary source of microorganisms in space vehicles is humans, who carry bacteria on their skin, in their mouths, and in their intestines. Animals and plants brought into space can be another source of microbes. Assessments of the Shuttle and Mir environments and of the crews before, during and after space flight assures crew health during space, and allows the spacecraft to be a suitable living environment.

 

Experiments List:
Analysis of Mir Archival Water Samples
Analysis of Volatile Organic Compounds on Mir Station
Microbiological Investigations of the Mir Space Station and Flight Crew (Phase 1A)
Microbiological Investigations of the Mir Space Station and Flight Crew
Toxicological Assessment of Airborne Volatile Organic Compounds
Trace Chemical Contamination: Air Quality
Trace Chemical Contamination: Water Quality

 

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Page last updated: 07/16/1999

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