Microbial contamination monitoring and control during human space missions

Research outputpeer-review


The ubiquity and resilience of microorganisms makes them unavoidable in most environments including space habitats. The impaired immune system of astronauts in flight raises the level of concern about disease risk during human space missions and additionally these biological contaminants may affect life support systems and hardware. In this review, the microbial contamination observed in manned space stations and in particular the International Space Station ISS will be discussed, demonstrating that it is a microbiologically safe working and living habitat. Microbial contamination levels were in general below the implemented quality standards, although, occasional contamination hazard reports indicate that the current prevention and monitoring strategies are a strict minimum.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-120
JournalPlanetary and Space Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012

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