German Aerospace Center (DLR)

The project partner DLR has many years of experience in the implementation and coordination of international projects.

In the area of cultivating microorganisms, DLR has expertise in:

  • cultivation and characterization of extremophilic bacteria, archaea and filamentous fungi
  • production and use of reference and indicator organisms for decontamination experiments
  • and isolation of polyextremophilic bacteria from rare environmental samples such as those from the Atacama Desert, Black smoker, or the Antarctic

For the simulation of extreme and extraterrestrial environments and habitats, DLR has access to various space simulation systems. These systems allow individual space parameters such as vacuum (> 10-5 Pa), atmospheres (composition from oxic to anoxic), temperature (-20 to +80 ° C), reduced gravity (microgravity) and solar radiation from vacuum UV ( 160 nm wavelength) up to infrared radiation (~ 1000 nm wavelength). Different combinations of these parameters can mimic the conditions to which the microorganisms are exposed in space, on other planets and in extreme terrestrial habitats.

The use of these facilities allows the examination of rare and valuable environmental samples in terms of the life, survival and activity of (possible) extremophilic microorganisms, and to isolate and characterize new species and communities.