The Microbiological Challenge in Space

  • Walter M. Bejuki


It is the purpose of this paper to crystallize, within the allotted time, the possible potential position of the microbiologist on that team of scientists and engineers who are currently applying their several disciplines in meeting the challenges represented by today’s astronautical frontier. As nautical became prefixed with astro-, so biology, zoology, botony, and microbiology can be expected to grow into the new experimental and applied areas which are connoted in the prefix astro-. Astromicrobiology, like any of the other new areas so created, will seem a little uncomfortable at first. This concept in microbiology may be subject to criticism, but evaluated it must be. The evaluation best comes from the microbiologist himself. It may be recalled that at the symposium of May 14–17, 1958, on “Possible Uses of Earth Satellites for Life Sciences Experiments,” the biologist considering satellite uses was cautioned. My own notes on this read, “Biologists not yet ready to go into orbit. Keep your feet on the ground.” From this memo we can abstract and build on the idea “not yet ready.” What the state of readiness is, for the microbiologist in particular, represents an early challenge. What he does with his own state of readiness once he has determined it represents a portion of the opportunities associated with the expanding effort and must be his own decision. Opportunities here, however, do father a continuing host of additional challenges.


Aspergillus Niger Outer Space Aspergillus Terreus Fungus Garden Terrestrial Biosphere 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1960

Authors and Affiliations

  • Walter M. Bejuki
    • 1
  1. 1.Prevention of Deterioration CenterNational Research CouncilUSA

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