Space is a sterile environment without bacteria, but inside the International space station they are still there. No matter how hard the researchers, together with the astronauts on the station will still get the germs and viruses that the space environment is dangerous for astronauts with weakened immune systems. When you consider that in a confined space can occur, and antibiotic-resistant superbugs, the risk increases twice. Fortunately, a new antibacterial coating that was used on the station the last few months, turned out to be a very effective means for their destruction.
Coverage is AGXX, and is composed of silver and ruthenium. These components are actively involved in the destruction of bacteria, yeasts and fungi, and this has been proven in the course of a long experiment. For several months this material was used to constant cleansing of the most dirty places on the ISS — the restroom door.
The researchers noticed that under the influence of contained in AGXX substances, the number of bacteria gradually decreased. Large differences were highlighted after 6, 12 and 19 months after installation of the coating. Unfortunately, its effectiveness is gradually reduced, because it sticks the particles of dead skin, debris and other dust that hinder direct contact with bacteria.
Evaluation of the surface showed that at the moment no dangerous germs and this result is very encouraging. While scientists believe that the material is unsuitable for use during the flight to Mars — they should come up with a more advanced way of dealing with bacteria. At least, they need to work on its shelf life.
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria on the ISS was found at the end of 2018. They were rod-shaped Enterobacter, which being on the Earth has become a cause of disease in newborns.