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Bacteria and Spores (ED31)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Bacillus mycoides Species: Bacteria
Scientific Name: Bacillus subtilis Species: Hay bacillus
Scientific Name: Escherichia coli Species: Bacteria


Cells are the fundamental building block for all living organisms. The word cells was first coined by physicist Robert Hooke during his examination of a cork slice under a microscope. Complex organisms such as plants and animals are made of many cells that work together. Microorganisms are single cell organisms that are too small to see with the naked eye. Microorganisms were first discovered with the invention of a microscope by the Dutch scientist Anton van Leeuwenhoek. Leeuwenhoek, who made microscopes to count threads in drapery material for his shop in Holland, first described microorganisms as animalcules or little animals. Improvements in microscopes have greatly increased the knowledge of microorganisms and have led to many advances in medicine. However, much is still to be learned about the biological processes of microorganisms. The objective of this experiment was to determine the effects of microgravity on the survival, growth rates, and mutations of certain bacteria and spores.

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Anonymous. MSFC Skylab student project report. NASA Marshall Space Flight Center; Huntsville, AL, United States. August 01, 1974. NASA-TM-X-64866. [NTRS]

Newkirk RW, Ertel ID, and Brooks CG. Skylab: A Chronology. January 01, 1977. NASA SP-4011. [NTRS]

Skylab Student Project Summary Description. 1973. MSFC-SL-73-3.

Summerlin LB, ed. Skylab, Classroom in Space. NASA Marshall Space Flight Center; Huntsville, AL, United States. January 01, 1977. NASA SP-401. [NTRS]

Polyvinyl alcohol

Photo Gallery
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Data Information
Data Availability
Archive is complete. No data sets are available for this experiment. Please Contact LSDA if you know of available data for this investigation.

Bacteria growth

Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
Skylab 2 05/25/1973 06/22/1973 28 days
Skylab 4 11/16/1973 02/08/1974 84 days

Additional Information
Managing NASA Center
Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC)
Responsible NASA Representative
Institutional Support
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Protocol / Approach
Not applicable
Hardware Items