Thursday, 14 December, 2017

Astronauts make, fling, float, eat pizzas on space station

International Space Station GETTY EXPLORATION The International Space Station has been orbiting Earth since 1998
Nicole Thomas | 07 December, 2017, 07:20

The International Space Station has been colonised by mysterious strains of bacteria - including some bugs which appear to be thriving in the vacuum of space. What the researchers found on the orbiting laboratory was rich and diverse microbial community, similar to the microbiology of a private home.

The team analyzed bacteria found on 15 locations on the ISS, as well as swabs from astronauts, and compared them to samples from the Human Microbiome Project and homes on Earth.

"'Is it gross" and "Will you see microbes from space' are probably the two most common questions we get about this work", said co-author David Coil, a microbiologist at the University of California, Davis. "So it is probably no more or less gross than your living room".

At present the batch is on a commercial supply ship and pulled out the flatbread, tomato sauce, cheese, pepperoni, olives, olive oil, anchovy paste and pesto in order to celebrate the first ever cosmic pizza party with much grandeur and zeal.

YouTube Rewind 2017 Features Marshmello Appearance
It's been produced in Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, and China, but this particular video is from a Thailand show. That is, until a toddler jovially entered the room and began tugging at his arm.

It isn't yet possible to look at bacteria coming from space, he said.

The research is part of a nationwide citizen science initiative known as Project MERCURRI. But in general, they're nice, mundane bacterial roommates.

Quoting from the study, The Washington Post reported that the interior surfaces of the 17-year-old, 250-mile-high, airtight space station harbor at least 1,000 and perhaps more than 4,000 microbe species.

The result? The ISS data most closely resembled the variety of microbial life found in homes, where much of the microbiology was courtesy of the limited number of humans in the space.

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