Astronauts aboard the International Space Station have come under the assumption that there could be some damaging and disgusting pathogens living among the scientists aboard the station currently. This worry stems from the fact that Russians and the U.S. sharing the ISS are not working well with one another, and Russia could eventually break off their modules and run them separately. However, in doing this, the germs and pathogens that could be transferred by the scientists aboard might gestate much quicker and damage some of the equipment aboard the detached modules.
According to the Director of the Institute of Biomedical Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Oleg Orlov, “Using the ISS modules will lead to the transfer of the microbiota to the new modules, will accelerate the process of their biocontamination.” While this might seem a bit dramatic, as catching a cold isn’t exactly the worst that could happen in space, microbes could do some extensive damage to the sensitive systems aboard the International Space Station. Orlov also brought up that MIR has experienced some mechanical failure due to dangerous microbes damaging some computation equipment. It sounds like the worry of these germs holds some strong merit.
There have been tons of tension between the rest of the world and Russia. Russia attempting to take over Ukraine has led to the worldwide condemnation of Russia’s actions, and that has led to even more tension between governing agencies that have to work with another involving the country. That includes the tension on board the International Space Station. This has led to plenty of speculation that Russia would be breaking off on its own in terms of the space station. However, breaking off from the main space station could cause immense problems. In terms of money that would be spent to make this happen, and now with the threat of dangerous microbes being transferred to the detached modules.
Russia has its own version of NASA called ROSS. ROSS might be attempting to run its own space station, but it would cost a boatload of money to make that happen. Though U.S. and Russian astronauts might not be getting along, they might have to just stick it out for the time being. The International Space Station is said to be a joint effort by both agencies, and it would likely cost each country immense amounts of money to break off from one another. Also, those damaging microbes might leave Russia stranded in space. That is likely not true, but should more equipment be attacked, it could happen. That would be frightening.
The International Space Station has been around since 1998, and this is the first time that Russia has been threatening to leave with such enthusiasm. It is doubtful that they would do something so drastic given that there are many negative factors that would be amplified should they break off their modules. One is the massive threat of life-threatening microbes in the air. Time will tell when Russia decides to back off trying to take over Ukraine, and if that will alleviate some of the concerns that have popped up because of those actions. For now, the ROSS will need to keep themselves tied to the ISS until further notice.