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Microbial Response to Space Environment (M191)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Radiation biology
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Aeromonas proteolytica Species: Bacteria
Scientific Name: Bacillus subtilis Species: Hay bacillus
Scientific Name: Bacillus thuringiensis Species: Bacteria Strain: var. thuringiensis
Scientific Name: Chaetomium globosum Species: Bacteria
Scientific Name: Escherichia coli Species: Bacteria
Scientific Name: Nematospiroides dubius Species: Fungus
Scientific Name: Rhodotorula rubra Species: Fungus
Scientific Name: Saccharomyces cerevisiae Species: Fungus
Scientific Name: Trichophyton terrestre Species: Fungus

Previous U.S. and U.S.S.R. studies established the survival ability of microbes in the space environment, although actual survival rates were often different from ground controls. More recent space flight studies suggested the possibility of space flight mediated genetic and developmental alterations in several species. The Microbial Response to Space Environment Experiment examined the relationship between space flight and viability and the effect of space flight on phenotypic expressions in several biological systems.

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Taylor GR, Bailey JV, Benton EV. Physical dosimetric evaluation in the Apollo 16 microbial response experiment. Life Sciences and Space Research. 1975;13:135-41.[]

Taylor GR, Chassay CE, Ellis WL, Foster BG, Volz PA, Spizizen J, et al. Microbial response to space environment. In: Apollo 16 Preliminary Science Report. Washington, DC: NASA Headquarters; 1972:27.11-27.17. NASA SP-315. [NTRS]

Taylor GR, Spizizen J, Foster BG, Volz PA, Bückner H, Simmonds RC, et al. A descriptive analysis of the Apollo 16 microbial response to space environment experiment. Bioscience. 1974;24:505-11.

Taylor GR. Space microbiology. Annual Review of Microbiology. 1974;28:121-37.[]

Taylor GR. Proceedings to the Microbial Response to Space Environment Symposium. Houston, TX: NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, 1973. NASA TM X-58103. [NTRS]

Taylor GR. Section IV, chapter 3: the Apollo 16 microbial response to space environment experiment. In: Johnson RS, Dietlein LF, Berry CA, eds. Washington, DC: NASA Headquarters; 1975:367-80. NASA SP-368. [NTRS]

Spectrum analysis
Gene expression profiling
Microbial genetics
Cell survival
Radiation effects

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Data Information
Data Availability
Archive is complete. All data sets are on the Web site.
Data Sets + View data.

Aeromonas proteolytica
Bacillus subtilis
Bacillus subtilis HA 101 strain
Bacillus subtilis HA 101(59) strain
Bacillus thuringiensis
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Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
Apollo 16 04/16/1972 04/27/1972 11 days

Additional Information
Managing NASA Center
Johnson Space Center (JSC)
Responsible NASA Representative
Johnson Space Center LSDA Office
Project Manager: Pamela A. Bieri
Institutional Support
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)