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Risk of Adverse Health Effects Due to Host-Microorganism Interactions


Marci Garcia, a research associate at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), examines some of the science tubes that make up the Dynamics of Microbiomes in Space (DynaMoS) experiment inside a laboratory at the Space Station Processing Facility on July 11, 2022. The DynaMoS experiment will launch on SpaceX’s 25th cargo resupply services mission to examine how microgravity affects metabolic interactions in communities of soil microbes. This will help NASA understand the function of soil microorganisms in space versus on Earth and how they can be used to enhance plant growth for crew consumption during long-duration missions to the Moon and Mars. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft are scheduled to lift off from Kennedy’s Launch Complex 39A at 8:44 p.m. EDT on Thursday, July 14.

Exposure to the spaceflight environment evidence indicates alterations in microbial virulence and astronaut immune function. While preventive measures limit the presence of many medically significant microorganisms during spaceflight missions, microbial infection of astronauts cannot be completely prevented and does occur, despite stringent vehicle cleaning and monitoring, as well as a quarantine of astronauts prior to flight. Infectious disease events occur during spaceflight missions; however, current countermeasures mitigate most of the impact on crew health and performance based on evidence from previous missions.

astronaut processes microbe samples collected for Veggie Monitoring.
ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti processes microbe samples collected for Veggie Monitoring. This investigation is expected to help establish requirements to protect plant-growth systems, plants, and crew members from contamination on future long-duration missions.

Directed Acyclic Graph Files

+ DAG File Information (HSRB Home Page)

+ Microhost Risk DAG and Narrative (PDF)

+ Microhost Risk DAG Code (TXT)

Human Research Roadmap

+ Risk of Adverse Health Effects Due to Host-Microorganism Interactions

+ 2022 July Evidence Report (PDF)



Last Updated
Sep 27, 2023
Robert E. Lewis