The Possible interplanetary transfer of microbes; Assessing the viability of spp. under the ISS environmental conditions for performing exposure experiments of microbes in the Tanpopo mission
Kawaguchi, Yuko*; Yang, Y.*; Kawashiri, Narutoshi*; Shiraishi, Keisuke*; Takasu, Masako*; Narumi, Issey*; Sato, Katsuya; Hashimoto, Hirofumi*; Nakagawa, Kazumichi*; Tanigawa, Yoshiaki*; Momoki, Yohei*; Tanabe, Maiko*; Sugino, Tomohiro*; Takahashi, Yuta*; Shimizu, Yasuyuki*; Yoshida, Satoshi*; Kobayashi, Kensei*; Yokobori, Shinichi*; Yamagishi, Akihiko*
In the Tanpopo mission, we have proposed to carry out experiments on capture and space exposure of microbes at the Exposure Facility of the Japanese Experimental Module of the International Space Station (ISS). Microbial candidates for the exposure experiments in space include spp. We have examined the survivability of spp. under the environmental conditions in ISS in orbit. A One-year dose of heavy-ion beam irradiation did not affect the viability of spp. within the detection limit. Exposure of various thicknesses of deinococcal cell aggregates to UV radiation revealed that a few hundred micrometer thick aggregate of deinococcal cells would be able to withstand the solar UV radiation on ISS for 1 year. We concluded that aggregated deinococcal cells will survive the yearlong exposure experiments. We propose that microbial cells can aggregate as an ark for the interplanetary transfer of microbes, and we named it "massapanspermia".