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International Space Station (ISS) air sampling. ESA astronaut Thomas Reiter (born 1958, Expeditions 13 and 14 flight engineer) conducting Surface, Water and Air Biocharacterization (SWAB) air sampling prior to the arrival of STS-115. To monitor microbial levels on the ISS, crew members use grab sample containers, dual absorbent tubes and swabs to collect air, water and surface samples and send them to Earth for detailed analysis and identification every 6 months. Microbe levels are maintained at acceptable levels by periodic scheduled sanitation routines. Photographed during Expedition 13 (1 April 2006 to 21 28 September 2006).
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