To celebrate 20 years of continuous human presence on the International Space Station, NASA is sending five student projects to the International Space Station as part of its Student Payload Opportunity with Citizen Science (SPOCS). One of the five experiments NASA selected for its 2022 launch is NoMADS, research on bacterial mutation in space conducted by a team of UNH Manchester students and their faculty advisor, Sue Cooke.
About the Project
Led by Team Cooke, Novel Methods of Antibiotic Discovery in Space (NoMADS) examines how soil bacteria evolve or mutate in space. The project also seeks to identify if there are more antibiotic-producing bacteria in space through comparing samples sent to space with a control sample on Earth.
By studying how bacteria acts differently in space—such as mutations, antibiotic resistance and antibiotic production—the team hopes its research will help improve astronaut health as well as source new antibiotics that can be used on Earth.