Browse Publications Technical Papers 2001-01-2310
2001-07-09

The Results of Microbiological Research of Environmental Microflora of Orbital Station Mir 2001-01-2310

The base unit of the orbital station (OS) MIR was launched on February 20, 1986, and on March 13 the first crew arrived to it. From that moment a unique microbiocenosis started forming in closed environment of the space station, and vital activity of microorganisms continued for the period of the next 15 years in specifically changed environment, in conditions of continuous influence of a set of factors, which are intrinsic of space flight. A total of 250 species of bacteria and fungi were found onboard orbital station MIR, among which microorganisms capable of resident colonization of the environment of space objects as a unique anthropotechnological niche were revealed. In such conditions the evolution of microflora is followed by the rise of medical and technical risks that can affect both sanitary-microbiological conditions of the environment and the safety and reliability characteristics of space equipment. The latter is caused by progressing biological damage to the structural materials. Dynamics of microbial loading does not have linearly progressing character, but it is a wavy process of alternation of the microflora activation and stabilization phases, on this background there is a change of the species dominating by quantity and prevalence. The accumulated data is the evidence of the necessity of the constant control for the microbial environmental factors to maintain their sanitary and microbiological optimum condition and to prevent the processes of constructional materials biodestruction.

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