Space & Innovation

You Don't Even Want To Know About Bacteria On The Space Station

Think the ISS is squeaky clean...think again! Bacteria like Staphylococcaceae and Enterobacteriaceae absolutely thrive in space stations!

In space, no one can hear you say "ewwww...." Space stations get dirty, like anywhere else, but a growing body of evidence suggests that cleaning up may be much more important when you're in orbit. Multiple incidents and experiments have been documented that reveal certain kinds of bacteria just loooooove living in space.

In fact, it can get really icky up there. In a rather infamous incident back in the day, the crew of the Russian space station Mir were checking out rarely used compartments and found several different basketball-size globs of water floating about. The spheres had formed from moisture and were packed with amoebas, protozoa and dust mites. In today's DNews dispatch, Trace Dominguez gets down and dirty with some even weirder stories of spacecraft bacteria.

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Nature: Four-year bacterial monitoring in the International Space Station-Japanese Experiment Module "Kibo" with culture-independent approach