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Space life sciences

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 118–130 | Cite as

Survival of micro-organisms in space

Results of Gemini-IX-A, Gemini-XII, and Agena-VIII satellite-borne exposure and collection experiments
  • Peter R. Lorenz
  • John Hotchin
  • Aletha S. Markusen
  • Gert B. Orlob
  • Curtis L. Hemenway
  • Douglas S. Hallgren
Article

Abstract

Dried suspensions ofPenicillium roqueforti Thom, Coliphage T-1,Bacillus subtilis and tobacco mosaic virus were exposed to space on board the Gemini-IX-A and XII earth satellites and the Agena-VIII space rocket. All micro-organisms tested survived the direct exposure during the Gemini-IX-A experiment. In the Gemini-XII experiment only the T-1 phage survived the direct exposure. The survival was influenced by the suspending medium and depended on the species of the microorganism. After four months of space flight on the Agena-VIII space rocket surviving fractions between 2×10−3 and 1.0 were found in the unopened flight container. However, micro-organisms exposed on the cover of the container during this period were completely inactivated. Shielding against solar ultraviolet radiation during flight resulted in survival of micro-organisms exceeding to that of the transport controls, and the survival was considered complete.

Sterile methylcellulose collection surfaces were exposed to space on board the Gemini-IX-A and XII satellites in an attempt to collect viable micro-organisms in space. None of the collection surfaces yielded viable micro-organisms.

Keywords

Radiation Organic Chemistry Geochemistry Bacillus Mosaic Virus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1968

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter R. Lorenz
    • 1
  • John Hotchin
    • 2
    • 3
  • Aletha S. Markusen
    • 4
  • Gert B. Orlob
    • 5
  • Curtis L. Hemenway
    • 6
  • Douglas S. Hallgren
    • 7
  1. 1.Dudley Observatory and Div. of Laboratories and Research of the New York State Dept. of HealthUSA
  2. 2.Special Projects Research LaboratoryDiv. of Laboratories and Research of the New York State Dept. of HealthUSA
  3. 3.Albany Medical CollegeAlbanyUSA
  4. 4.State University of New York at AlbanyAlbanyUSA
  5. 5.South Dakota State UniversityUSA
  6. 6.Dudley Observatory and State University of New York at AlbanyAlbanyUSA
  7. 7.Dudley Observatory at Albany

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