NASA Names Bacterium Found on ISS After APJ Abdul Kalam (Download PDF)


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In incredible news for India, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has decided to name a newly discovered organism after one of the most loved former Indian Presidents, APJ Abdul Kalam.

Image of Indian Presidents APJ Abdul Kalam

Image of Indian Presidents APJ Abdul Kalam

Image of Indian Presidents APJ Abdul Kalam


  • The new organism, a bacteria, has been found only on the International Space Station (ISS) and has not been found on earth
  • A form of bacteria found only on the International Space Station has been named Solibacillus kalamii
  • The discovery was made by a team of researchers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory – NASA’s lab for inter-planetary travel research.
  • The name of the bacterium is Solibacillus kalamii, the species name is after Dr Abdul Kalam and genus name is Solibacillus which is a spore forming bacteria
  • The space station is home to many microbes
  • This unique microbe was found on the filters of the International Space Station as it orbits the earth almost 400 kilometers above earth.
  • ISS had the filter with the discovered bug on board for 40 months.
  • Called a high-efficiency particulate arrestance filter or HEPA filter
  • This part is the routine housekeeping and cleaning system on board the international space station.
  • The ISS is home to many types of bacteria and fungi which co-inhabit the station with the astronauts who live and work on the station.

International Space Station:

  • The International Space Station (ISS) is a space station, or a habitable artificial satellite, in low Earth orbit.
  • Its first component launched into orbit in 1998
  • The space station is also a science lab.
  • Many countries worked together to build it.
  • They also work together to use it.
  • The space station’s orbit is about 220 miles above Earth.
  • NASA uses the station to learn about living and working in space
  • The ISS is now the largest man-made body in low Earth orbit and can often be seen with the naked eye from Earth.
  • The ISS consists of pressurised modules, external trusses, solar arrays, and other components
  • Weighing about 419 tonnes, it can house a maximum of six astronauts and has costs roughly USD 150 billion.
  • Till date, 227 astronauts have flown to the space station.
  • This makes the space station actually a very dirty place and maintaining hygiene is critical so that humans can live on it with ease.
  • On the space station all the air and water is recycled, being a completely closed environment there is a rapid build- up of moulds and bacteria on the station.

APJ Abdul Kalam:

  • A. P. J. Abdul Kalam was the 11th President of India from 2002 to 2007.
  • Studied physics and aerospace engineering.
  • He worked with Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as an aerospace engineer before becoming the President of India.
  • His work on the development of launch vehicle and ballistic missile technology had earned him the name of the ‘Missile Man of India’.

Table Contant shows About APJ Abdul Kalam

Table Contant shows About APJ Abdul Kalam


15 October 1931

Rameswaram, Ramnad District, Madras Presidency, British India


27 July 2015 (aged 83)

Shillong, Meghalaya, India

Cause of death

Cardiac arrest (Stroke)



Alma mater

St. Joseph’s College, Tiruchirappalli

Madras Institute of Technology




Aerospace scientist




Bharat Ratna 1997

Padma Vibhushan 1990

Padma Bhushan 1981

- Published/Last Modified on: May 26, 2017


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