<! – About 254 miles over the head for almost 20 years, the International Space Station has become a guiding…
November 23rd, 2018
About 254 miles (409 miles) above the head for nearly 20 years, the International Space Station has become the guiding principle for efforts beyond our home world’s security and a shining example of how humanity can function as one. This icon seems to generate something else – drug resistant diseases.
While hundreds of experiments on board, ISS is part of today’s work for astro and cosmonauts, they also seem to be at extra risk in this environment. A 2014 NASA report noted that the immune system is “confused and confused” during astronauts’ time in space microgravity. Weakened immune systems and super-driven diseases are not a good combination when you are traveling months, possibly a year, away from the ground.
Two of the station’s most common areas, toilet and training area were determined to be the main places where the bacteria were the most common. Fortunately, they discovered the bacteria are not pathogenic (which means they do not cause disease) to humans.
The detected bacteria, Enterobacter, are found on the soil in soil, sewers and in the gastrointestinal tract of humans and animals. Perhaps one of the more problematic aspects of this discovery is that the diseases found on ISS resemble drug-resistant strains found in hospital settings on Earth.
In hospitals, Enterobacter can cause: infection in humans causing bacterial disease, endocarditis, septic arthritis, osteomyelitis, skin and soft tissue infections, lower respiratory tract, urinary tract and intra-abdominal infections . (Per BMC reports).
The report is not definitive when it says that Enterobacter and its relatives would cause health issues on its way. A report on Phys.Org used caveats as “potential” “predicted” and noted that “further studies” were needed to get a better understanding of how much of a problem drug-resistant diseases could be on future missions
So even if ISS has not checked out the 21st century version of the Andromeda tribe, it has helped to highlight one of the many challenges that crews bound to remote worlds have to do with.
This is a great concern for NASA, because the Agency has long been committed to sending astronauts back to the moon and on to Mars. Currently, the agency has no way to send astronauts anywhere. It can only reach a runway using mother Russia.
The first component of what would later become the International Space Station, the Russian Zarya module, was launched in November 1998. This was followed by NASA’s Unity module two weeks later. Station construction took more than 12 years to complete and there are components still waiting to be launched ( Nauka, Uzlovoy Science Power Modules and NanoRacks Airlock Modules).
Jason Rhian spent several years hiring his skills with internships at NASA, the National Space Society and other organizations. He has provided content for sales outlets such as: Aviation Week & Space Technology, Space.com, The Mars Society and Universe Today.