Space is certainly scary. Apart from the fact that the only thing separating astronauts from a cold, dark, and ugly death are pieces of metal and nylon, we also know zip about what lies beyond. It seems that the threats that humans face in space are also limitless, like space itself. Though it appears closer than we all think. Now, a deadlier than imagined threat exists in the International Space Station (ISS).
It is, however, far from “aliens” or clunky asteroids. The said threat is actually bacteria, something we all have and bring everywhere we go. To be more specific, the said space station is having a problem with the bacteria in their toilets aboard. These said bacteria have also seemingly become immune to antibiotics, meaning there is no killing them, according to their genomic analysis.
But don’t squash your dreams of being an astronaut just yet. At the moment, the said bacteria is of no threat to the astronauts aboard. They do not have the potential to become pathological just yet. Still, one of them, specifically the Enterobacter bugandensis, is an opportunistic pathogen, something that could potentially cause diseases in the future.
It would seem that bacteria that human beings brought along with them for a ride in space are also constantly adapting to their new environment. Some of them even do so faster than others. Prolonged exposure to such things can potentially weaken their immune system and could indeed pose a hurdle for space travel. Simply put, there’s no escaping germs, not even in space.