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  • MOA: Magnetic Field Oscillating Amplified Thruster

    Paper number



    Mr. Norbert Frischauf, QASAR Technologie(s) GmbH, Austria


    Mr. Tobias Bartusch, Germany


    Mr. Manfred Hettmer, Austria




    Quest for new life in the solar system is one of the main challenges in space research today. Exploration of planets by automatic probes has reduced the optimism of scientists to find a place suitable for life, but Mars still gives them hopes. For implementing this project it is significant to know whether earth microorganisms are able to survive in the outer space when they are carried out beyond the Earth by space ships and thus threaten the reliability of discovery of extraterrestrial life. No less essential is the issue of what can happen to terrestrial microorganisms after their return to the Earth in case of an interplanetary flight and how it can be reflected on their genetic structure. Two bacterial species, Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus pumilus, were investigated in the framework of the experiment "Biorisk", which was performed at the Institute of Biomedical Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Spores of these bacteria were pla?ed on various construction materials in Petri dishes and then the dishes were put into special containers. These containers were fixed to the external surface of the International Space Station and exposed to the outer space for different periods of time. After the containers were downlinked back to the Earth and studied in the laboratory the outcomes of research showed that bacteria had been able to survive even after one and half year of continuous exposure to the outer space {outside the International Space Station}. For the detection of genetic variation after long-term exposure of the microorganisms to the outer space, we used Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism {AFLP} analysis. In our preliminary assessment of genetic structure of the two Bacillus species, we have found 100% of genetic similarity between control and experimental samples. The results of AFLP analysis didn’t show any changes in the DNA structure of the bacteria, which had been exposed to the outer space for 18 months. Our investigation is not finished at this point and we plan to use alternative methods capable to detect possible dotted mutations, which we weren’t able to find by using AFLP analysis and to check a hypothesis whether our results are simply a display of the reparation process.

    Abstract document


    Manuscript document

    IAC-05-C4.6.08.pdf (🔒 authorized access only).

    To get the manuscript, please contact IAF Secretariat.