Popular Science

Scientists are trying to figure out how to keep bacteria from running rampant on space missions

Researchers monitored microbes on a mock flight to Mars.
astronaut on the ISS

Humans aren't the only living things on the ISS. The microbes we bring with us can potentially cause harm.


Space missions are meticulously planned. To ensure that nothing goes awry, the crew and those on the ground account for everything that enters and exits the craft. But there are a few stowaways they can't control: the bacteria that astronauts bring with them. Though undetectable to the naked eye, these tiny organisms have the potential to

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Popular Science

Popular Science3 min read
Blow Flies Help Us Solve Murders—but Climate Change Is Forcing Them Out
A chrysomya megacephala, commonly known as a blow fly. Muhammad Mahdi Karim Climate change has spurred the spread of invasive insects that devour crops, destroy homes, and spread disease. Now, rising temperatures are driving cadaver-eating blow flies
Popular Science3 min readTech
Not All Twitter Bots Are Bad
All my friends are bots. Eleanor Cummins and her incredible screenshotting abilities Twitter is cracking down on bots. A fundamental part of the social media platform’s appeal, these automated accounts provide information—and comedy and artistry—in w
Popular Science4 min read
These Plants Bring All The Birds To Your Yard
Carolina chickadees depend on the availability of high-calorie, high-protein prey, such as caterpillars, for a healthy breeding season. Doug Tallamy, University of Delaware Like songbirds? Right, many people do. It’s a different story when it comes t