The Indian Missile Man Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, who was the 11th President of India and who also worked as an aerospace engineer at NASA was recently honored by NASA.
NASA honoured Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, by naming a unique organism found on the International Space Station after him. The organism is called ‘Solibacillus Kalamii‘.
Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam was born in Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, India. He started his career by newspapers distribution. Further, he graduated with Physics from the Madras University nd then after went on to study aerospace engineering. ISRO always honoured him for his contribution in research, especially in the 1998 Pokhran nuclear tests. He became India’s president in 2002.
Jet propulsion laboratory scientists Dr. Kasthuri Venkateswaram who discovered the organism on International Space Station (ISS) said that “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 Solibacillus Kalamii microbe was found on the filters of the International Space Station which orbits the earth from a distance of 400 kms. According to Dr Venkateswaran, the bug got hitch-hiked to the space station from earth only.
Dr Venkateswaran said that “This new microbe is spore former. These spore formers tend to withstand high radiation and also produce some useful compounds protein-wise which will be helpful for biotechnology applications,”
Dr. Venkateswaran team has not characterised the bacteria fully but he hints that the new bug could be a key source for chemicals that can help protect against radiation damage.