The eValuatIon And monitoring of microBiaL biofilms insidE ISS (VIABLE ISS) study involves the evaluation of the microbial biofilm development on space materials. Both metallic and textile space materials, either conventional or innovative, are located inside and on the cover of Nomex pouches that are placed inside the International Space Station (ISS). The eValuatIon And monitoring of microBiaL biofilms insidE ISS (VIABLE ISS) investigation evaluates microbial biofilm development on space materials. Most surfaces are covered with microorganisms under natural conditions. The process by which a complex community of microorganisms is established on a surface is known as biofilm formation. Microbial biofilms can exist in many different forms by a wide range of microorganisms. The process of biofilm formation is a prerequisite for substantial corrosion and/or deterioration of the underlying materials to take place.
The VIABLE ISS samples are composed by both metallic and textile space materials either conventional or innovative (Aluminum, Armaflex and Betacloth). They are placed inside four foam lined Nomex bags and, in particular, the following hardware is placed inside each pouch:
Pouch 1 - untreated space materials;
Pouch 2 - space materials pre-treated with biosurfactants;
Pouch 3 - space materials pre-treated with hydrogen peroxide;
Pouch 4 - space materials chemo-physically pre-treated with silica and silver coating.