Mars Dome – a cool closed system

According to a recent BBC news article, NASA is doing a Mars simulation project to see if six live human beings can survive being isolated in a dome together. From a MoBE perspective, it would be cool to study this system. It’s completely closed to outside microbes – the people living in this dome have to …

Is your spacecraft contaminating the universe?

An article at Space.Com discusses a new push to make sure that spacecraft do not inadvertently contaminate the places they are visiting (e.g., Mars).  What microbes are on space vehicles and how to make sure the parts that are sent to other planets are “clean” or “sterile” is an interesting and active area of research. …

Workshop on Planetary Protection Knowledge Gaps for Human Extraterrestrial Missions (Reverse Contamination)

This is the third of three posts about the planetary protection workshop I attended at NASA Ames from March 24-26, 2015. The first is here. I mentioned, in my last post on forward contamination, that reverse contamination is the primary concern for Planetary Protection (PP). In this context, reverse contamination refers to the transport of Martian …

Workshop on Planetary Protection Knowledge Gaps for Human Extraterrestrial Missions (Intro)

reposted from jennomics.com http://www.nasa.gov/ames/events/ppw2015workshop/#.VRMLLJPF8mU I’m at a NASA Ames workshop this week. The goal is to have a discussion about planetary protection with respect to human spaceflight, in particular to Mars, mostly during a “sample and return” mission and a little bit about human habitation on Mars. I’m tweeting with #planetaryprotection. There’s also live streaming here: …

And the winners of the #spacemicrobes Microbial Playoffs are…

NOTE (3-12-15):  THESE RESULTS ARE INCORRECT.   We have left them here for comparison.   A blog post describing the problem is here and the correct information can be found here. We’ve finished analyzing all the data from the “Microbial Playoffs” part of Project MERCCURI (described here).   Each microbe that was chosen to fly to the International …

Update on Project MERCCURI a.k.a. #spacemicrobes

After 9 months of technical delays, during which time our collection of frozen built environment microbes went around the earth every 90 minutes, we are finally getting growth data from the International Space Station (ISS)!   Astronaut Terry Virts has been taking daily growth readings of our collection of 48 microbes and today (Friday) is …