NASA Is Investigating The Microbes Aboard ISS

Not all astronauts in the space station are human

Fungi
A petri dish of fungi grown from a sample collected from the ISSNASA / JPL

There may soon be a field guide to the microbes of the International Space Station. NASA announced on September 21 that it is seeking research proposals to investigate tiny creatures ferried from Earth on the bodies of the more than 200 astronauts who have visited the space station.

The scientists will pore over samples collected over a decade to examine how the microbes have adapted and evolved aboard the ISS. This will allow NASA to "better understand how to control the microbial environment in future human exploration spacecraft," David Tomko, space biology program scientist at the agency, said in a statement.