While most of us are now much more careful to keep homes and workplaces clean, cleaning aboard the International Space Station is a must.
Of particular importance are antibacterial measures, as bacteria tend to accumulate in constantly recycled air inside the International Space Station.
Every Saturday in space is a “cleaning day,” as surfaces are cleaned and astronauts vacuum and pick up trash.
However, there is a place at the station where cleaning is prohibited. But don’t worry, it’s all for science!
Matisse O’s experience in fixing microbial aerosols to innovative surfaces on the International Space Station proves five advanced materials and their success in preventing pathogenic microorganisms from settling and growing in microgravity.
Matisse also provided information on how biofilms adhere to surfaces under microgravity conditions.
The experiment was sponsored by the French space agency CNES and designed in 2016. Three iterations of the experiment were used on the International Space Station.
The first was MatISS-1 and had four samplers installed over six months in three different locations in the Columbus European Laboratory Unit.
This provided some basic data points for the researchers. When they returned to Earth, the researchers marked the sediments on each surface and used the control material to create a reference for the level and type of pollution.
The MatISS-2 had four identical sample holders containing three different types of materials, installed at a location in Columbus. This study aimed to better understand how pollution spreads over time through hydrophobic (water-repellent) and control surfaces.
The updated Matiss-2.5 was prepared to study how pollution, this time spatially, spread to hydrophobic surfaces using standard samples. This experiment lasted a year and recently the samples were returned to Earth and are now under analysis.
Samples are made from a diverse blend of advanced materials, such as self-assembling monolayers, green polymers, ceramic polymers, and hydrophobic hybrid silica.
Smart materials must prevent bacteria from adhering and growing in large areas, making it easier for them to clean and health. The experiment hopes to find out which materials work best.
The European Space Agency states that “understanding the effectiveness and potential use of these materials will be essential in designing future spacecraft, especially those carrying human beings into space.”
It is true that long-term human space missions will have to reduce the biological contamination of astronauts ’habitats.
This article was originally published by The universe today. Read the article The original.