NASA named APJ Abdul Kalam name to a new organism.
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
Till date, the new organism — a form of a bacteria — has been found only on the International Space Station (ISS) and has not been found on earth!
Researchers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the foremost lab of NASA for work on inter-planetary travel, discovered the new bacteria on the filters of the International Space Station (ISS) and named it Solibacillus kalamii to honour the late president, who was a renowned aerospace scientist.
The filter on which the new bug was found remained on board the ISS 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.
This filter was later analysed at JPL and only this year by NASA. The research is undertaken by a Tamilian from India Dr. Venkateswaran,.
Venkateswaran’s main job is to monitor the environment of the space station so that harmful bugs do not proliferate. He heads the ‘Microbial Observatory’ on the ISS projects to measure microorganisms associated with compartments owned by the US.
Even as it orbits the earth some 400 kilometres above, 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.