Microbiological monitoring in the International Space Station-KIBO (Microbe-IV) - 07.12.17

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
In respect to human risk, the importance of microbiological monitoring is very high for long-duration missions. We focus on indoor environmental quality control and thus studies on environmental microbiology in space (astromicrobiological studies) in order to reduce potential hazards for the crew and the infrastructure.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Toru Shimazu, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Information provided courtesy of the Japan Aerospace and Exploration Agency (JAXA).
Experiment Details

OpNom: Microbe-IV

Principal Investigator(s)
Masao Nasu, Osaka University, Osaka, Japan

Noriaki Ishioka, Japan Aerospace and Exploration Agency, Tsukuba City, Japan
Nobuyasu Yamaguchi, Osaka University, Osaka, Japan
Tomoaki Ichijo, Osaka University, Osaka, Japan
Koichi Makimura, Ph.D., M.D., Teikyo University, Tokyo, Japan
Ichiro Sato, Ph.D., Teikyo University, Tokyo, Japan
Takashi Q. Yamazaki, Ph.D., Japan Aerospace and Exploration Agency, Tsukuba, Japan
Katsuji Tani, Ph.D., Osaka Otani University, Osaka, Japan
Takashi Sugita, Ph.D., Meiji Pharmaceutical University, Tokyo, Japan

JAXA TKSC Space Environment Utilization Center, Tsukuba, Japan

Sponsoring Space Agency
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

Sponsoring Organization
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency

Research Benefits
Space Exploration, Earth Benefits, Scientific Discovery

ISS Expedition Duration
September 2014 - March 2016; March 2016 - April 2017

Expeditions Assigned

Previous Missions
Microbe-I, Microbe-II, and Microbe-III

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Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • To monitor microbial populations aboard ISS, it is necessary to maintain the health of the crew members. Passive sampling and analysis on the ground clarifies the type, and number, of microbes in the KIBO module. Particle count data gives the real time status of air purity in the KIBO module.
  • Continuous monitoring from the Microbe-I experiments provides microbial information about the KIBO module, and enables the prediction of future microbial circumstance populations in the KIBO module.
  • Results from this experiment provide further insight into the risk of microbial populations to crew members aboard the ISS.

In the JAXA KIBO Utilization scenario, studies on the relationship between human and microbes in space habitation environments are critical for success in long-duration missions. In respect to human health, the importance of microbiological monitoring is extremely important for long-duration missions. In this investigation, the major focus is on indoor environmental quality control, specifically studies on environmental microbiology in space (astromicrobiological studies), in order to reduce potential hazards for the crew and the spacecraft infrastructure. Progress is made in these astrobiological studies based on past, and current, collaborative studies with JAXA. The continuing expansion of the on-going microbiological monitoring in the KIBO module, the project named “Microbe-I/II/III”, data is being collected on microbial dynamics in the habitable spacecraft environment. Collected data on these microbial communities aboard the ISS is shared with NASA, ESA, and JAXA.

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Space Applications
Results from the Microbe-IV investigation provide insight into the microbial environment on the ISS. Microbes that can cause illness could present problems for current and future long-duration space missions. Understanding which microbe communities thrive in space habitats, known as astromicrobiology, could help researchers design antimicrobial technology.

Earth Applications
The sampling devices used for Microbe-IV could also be used on Earth. Procedures for monitoring and counting microbe populations could enable new microbe control standards for the pharmaceutical and food processing industries.

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Operational Requirements and Protocols
Passive sampling items, "White Tube", "Microbial Detection Sheet", "Air Filter", and "Sampling Sheet" are recovered on Earth at frozen storage temperature. Particle data taken by "Particle Counter" should be downlinked through Experiment Laptop Computer-2 (ELT-2).


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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

Information Pending

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Related Websites
Utilization scenarios toward 2020

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