Crew members live and work in a closed-system environment that is monitored to ensure health and safety. The design and development of the International Space System (ISS) has incorporated lessons learned from microbial monitoring of previous spaceflight missions. The microbial control actions on the ISS include engineering designs, such as high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtering of the air, microbial monitoring of the air, surfaces, and water, and remediation procedures when necessary. The current spacecraft environmental microbial limits were evaluated based on the continual monitoring of the microbes in the spaceflight environment.
New systems, such as the Veggie plant growth system, are being introduced to enable mission success. Collecting measures on new systems is important to the development of spaceflight-grown produce requirements. Periodic sampling of the microbes will provide the data needed to assess the impact of the plant growth system on crewmembers’ safety. Since the Veggie system is open to the cabin environment, it is critical to understand what microbes are present in the plant growth system.
This investigation will focus on characterizing the microbial community of the Veggie plant growth system to assess the risk of adverse health effects due to host-microorganism interactions. The objective of this experiment is to characterize the microbial community of the Veggie plant growth system in order to identify a baseline of microorganisms. This experiment has the following specific aims:
Inflight and in conjunction with Environmental Health System (EHS) Microbial Testing:
Total Crew Time: 2.33 hours
This experiment is in progress. Results will be available at a later date.
In-flight and in conjunction with EHS microbial testing