There are no microorganisms in space

We Will All Die: Microbes in Space

A video of

Today we leave the earth and dedicate ourselves to killer microbes in space. But they don't come from Mars or Venus - at least so far - but here from Earth. Since humans have been traveling in space, they have also carried their microbiome with them. That is why space stations are by no means as clinically pure places as one would think. On the contrary.

This became apparent very early in the history of space travel, at the Russian Mir space station. She always had problems with power outages, and the temperature and humidity in the station rose significantly. This allowed bacteria and fungi to thrive. For example on the window seals, on control panels or on spacesuits.

The most remarkable discovery, however, was made in 1998, when balls of condensation water floating behind several paneling panels appeared. And you don't have to think of it as glittering, transparent drops of pure water, but rather as a cloudy, brownish and somewhat foul-smelling broth that billowed in front of you. The corresponding analyzes have found a rich ecosystem in there. On the one hand bacteria and fungi, of course, but also amoebas and even mites.

And that wasn't just a problem with the Russians. Of course, there are also microorganisms on the ISS. Although no ponds floating in weightlessness have been found there, mold can grow on the walls in damp areas. And at the beginning of 2019, a working group took a look at what was growing on the international space station. These DNA analyzes have shown that you can find all types of microbes that accompany people, including known pathogens and faecal bacteria.

But it also showed that the difference between such a space station and the microbiome of an earthly functional building such as an office building or a fitness studio is actually not that great. In addition, as far as I know, no astronaut has yet become ill from these microorganisms.

You can do it differently

So no problem? Not quite. Because the conditions in manned space travel are of course a little different than here on Earth. For example, you can't just take two or three days off when you catch something, and the nearest hospital is a little further away. In addition, an astronaut with diarrhea is roughly the poorest pig in the universe.