By Michael Torrice / San Jose Mercury News
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Millions of microbe astronauts will travel into space Tuesday aboard a NASA satellite.
These germs are part of a mission led by the NASA Ames Research Center at California’s Moffett Field to study how floating in space alters a medication’s effectiveness.
On earth, doctors prescribe drugs to cure infections caused by microbes such as bacteria and yeast. The NASA team’s goal is to understand how these germs respond to treatment in outer space.
Previous space experiments have suggested greater amounts of drugs are needed to kill microbes aboard an orbiting spacecraft, said mission manager Bruce Yost.
Yost and his team will measure the extent of these microbes’ resistance to drugs on a new satellite called PharmaSat.