Scientists conducted the Electronic Nose experiment, which showed that the inner surfaces of the International Space Station (ISS) are contaminated with bacteria and fungi. This is stated in the published abstracts of the report of specialists from the Institute of Biomedical Problems (IBMP), prepared in the framework of the XLIV Korolev Readings.
As noted in the document, thanks to the new scientific device "E-Nos", it is possible to capture the gas emissions of bacteria and fungi, which makes it possible to quickly find microbial contamination inside the station. "In total, 12 measurement sessions were held, during which, using the device, it was possible to detect both fungal and bacterial contamination of some surfaces of the station," the thesis says.
Scientists emphasize that in conditions of a long space flight, including future interplanetary expeditions, it is important to carry out operational microbiological control of the station's internal surfaces and equipment.
The E-Nos equipment will allow analyzing the quantitative level of bacteria and microscopic fungi without sending samples to Earth. "The device has reliably shown the presence or absence of microflora on samples of materials and surfaces of the ISS interior, and in the case of the presence of microorganism species included in its database, it correctly identified their taxonomic affiliation," the report says.