Resistance of Bacterial Endospores to Outer Space for Planetary Protection PurposesâExperiment PROTECT of the EXPOSE-E Mission
Horneck, Gerda and Moeller, Ralf and Cadet, Jean and Douki, Thierry and Mancinelli, Rocco L. and Nicholson, Wayne L. and Panitz, Corinna and Rabbow, Elke and Rettberg, Petra and Spry, Andrew and Stackebrandt, Erko and Vaishampayan, Parag and Venkateswaran, Kasthuri J. (2012) Resistance of Bacterial Endospores to Outer Space for Planetary Protection PurposesâExperiment PROTECT of the EXPOSE-E Mission. Astrobiology, 12 (5), pp. 445-456. Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.. DOI: 10.1089/ast.2011.0737.
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Spore-forming bacteria are of particular concern in the context of planetary protection because their tough endospores may withstand certain sterilization procedures as well as the harsh environments of outer space or planetary surfaces. To test their hardiness on a hypothetical mission to Mars, spores of Bacillus subtilis 168 and Bacillus pumilus SAFR-032 were exposed for 1.5 years to selected parameters of space in the experiment PROTECT during the EXPOSE-E mission on board the International Space Station. Mounted as dry layers on spacecraft-qualified aluminum coupons, the ‘‘trip to Mars’’ spores experienced space vacuum, cosmic and extraterrestrial solar radiation, and temperature fluctuations, whereas the ‘‘stay on Mars’’ spores were subjected to a simulated martian environment that included atmospheric pressure and composition, and UV and cosmic radiation. The survival of spores from both assays was determined after retrieval. It was clearly shown that solar extraterrestrial UV radiation (λ ≥ 110 nm) as well as the martian UV spectrum (λ ≥ 200 nm) was the most deleterious factor applied; in some samples only a few survivors were recovered from spores exposed in monolayers. Spores in multilayers survived better by several orders of magnitude. All other environmental parameters encountered by the ‘‘trip to Mars’’ or ‘‘stay on Mars’’ spores did little harm to the spores, which showed about 50% survival or more. The data demonstrate the high chance of survival of spores on a Mars mission, if protected against solar irradiation. These results will have implications for planetary protection considerations.
|Title:||Resistance of Bacterial Endospores to Outer Space for Planetary Protection PurposesâExperiment PROTECT of the EXPOSE-E Mission|
|Journal or Publication Title:||Astrobiology|
|In ISI Web of Science:||Yes|
|Page Range:||pp. 445-456|
|Publisher:||Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.|
|Keywords:||Planetary protection, Bacterial spores, Space experiment, Simulated Mars mission|
|HGF - Research field:||Aeronautics, Space and Transport|
|HGF - Program:||Raumfahrt|
|HGF - Program Themes:||R FR - Forschung unter Weltraumbedingungen|
|DLR - Research area:||Raumfahrt|
|DLR - Program:||R FR - Forschung unter Weltraumbedingungen|
|DLR - Research theme (Project):||R - Vorhaben Strahlenbiologie|
|Institutes and Institutions:||Institute of Aerospace Medicine > Radiation Biology|
|Deposited By:||Kerstin Kopp|
|Deposited On:||09 Aug 2012 08:35|
|Last Modified:||20 Mar 2013 19:45|
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