America-based commercial space venture – SpaceX is all set to launch its cargo ship to the International Space Station (ISS) today. The mission, regardless of being mere cargo ship transpiration operation, holds a number of significances. With this mission, Elon Musk’s firm is giving re-birth to the long-inactive launch pad of NASA – Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39’s 39A launch pad. In addition to this historic connotation, the mission of SpaceX also hosts a biological significance as NASA is through the cargo ship is sending an ‘antibiotic-resistant superbug’, which is the first-of-its-kind attempt in itself.
According to the official statement of NASA, the aim behind sending MRSA bacteria to the International Space Station is incredibly noble. By sending MRSA bacteria into the zero-gravity vicinity of space, the agency will enable the onboard astronomers to study the growth process of bacteria in the space as well as the effect of microgravity on the mutation process of the bacteria
MRSA or Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is also known as staph. It is extremely resistant to the antibiotic methicillin and many other antibiotics. Experiencing with these bacteria can trigger a range of health issues and infections including sepsis, pneumonia and skin and bloodstream contagions, said the lead author.
Dr Anita Goel, a renowned physician and a trained physicist, while commenting on this matter said, the transmission of the antibiotic-resistant superbug isn’t an indication of an impending disaster, but it is a noble mission to understand how bacteria grow in the zero-gravity province of space. Working mutually with NASA, the lead researcher of the mission, Dr Anita Goel also said that, the transmission of the MRSA bacteria to zero-gravity ecology would enable us to get a comprehensive idea on how superbugs metamorphose and become defiant to available antibiotics.