Are there bugs on the ISS?
August 6, 2010 2:59 PM   Subscribe

Are there insects on the space station? (Not counting any being used in experiments)

I'm curious as to whether the inhabitants of the ISS have to squash spiders like the rest of us. Obviously it would be something NASA would try to avoid happening to begin with, but it seems to me that it'd be hard to keep *every* insect out of the space shuttle and other related space-items prior to launch.

So is this the case? And if so, does it have any consequences or is it just something that doesn't really matter?
posted by DMan to Science & Nature (5 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Microbes & mildew, yes. But insects and spiders would have to be reported to NASA's office of Office of Planetary Protection.
posted by deludingmyself at 3:11 PM on August 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: There's one - but it's probably dead by now. It escaped from an experiment in 2008.

NASA's pretty strict about keeping everything going up to the station un-contaminated. Though if you want to read something scary, google for Mir Fungus.
posted by Mwongozi at 3:16 PM on August 6, 2010

Most bugs don't live very long, either, and they'd need a mate to reproduce. Not likely.
posted by buckaroo_benzai at 6:19 PM on August 6, 2010

It's likely that there are or has been eyelash mites.
posted by ShooBoo at 6:31 PM on August 6, 2010

There are probably dust mites, but I hope no astronauts brought aboard any lice, bed bugs, or other human parasites.
posted by exphysicist345 at 12:36 AM on August 7, 2010

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