Title of Presentation: Quantification of Spore-forming Bacteria Carried by Dust Particles

Primary (Corresponding) Author: Ying Lin

Organization of Primary Author: Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

Co-Authors: Tanya Cholakian, Wenming Gao, Shariff Osman, and Jack Barengoltz


Abstract: In order to establish a biological contamination transport model for predicting the cross contamination risk during spacecraft assembly and upon landing on Mars, it is important to understand the relationship between spore-forming bacteria and their carrier particles. We conducted air and surface sampling in indoor, outdoor, and cleanroom environments to determine the ratio of spore forming bacteria to their dust particle carriers of different sizes. The number of spore forming bacteria was determined from various size groups of particles in a given environment. Our data also confirms the existence of multiple spores on a single particle and spore clumps. This study will help in developing a better bio-contamination transport model, which in turn will help in determining forward contamination risks for future missions.