Bacteriological Intercommunication eXperiment Orbiter


BIXO is the next mission we will carry out that will be key to understand the effect of prolonged exposure to the space environment on living organisms. It is essential to understand the harmful effects this exposure could have on humans and the organisms as well as to the organisms that accompany us. To achieve this objective, we will transport bactarian cultures on millifluidic cards into space aboard a small satellite called CubeSat.

The experiment once in orbit will last for 9 months, which is approximately the time it would take to travel from the Earth to Mars nowadays. On the one hand, this will allow us to study how these processes differ from how they occur on the ground and how they can affect the behaviour of micro-organisms in the short and medium-term.


9 months, the time it would take to make a journey from the Earth to Mars today.

Current phase

Arquitecture system desing and prototype development.

2U form factor

Our cubesat will follow the 2U standar, which means it will be a 20x10x10cm satellite.


Una vez en órbita, se monitorizarán diversos parámetros, como el crecimiento y procesos de comunicación intercelular bacteriana de Quorum Sensing. Estos procesos son de especial interés debido a su influencia en la expresión genética de los microorganismos, modificando su comportamiento y, en el caso de organismos patógenos, la expresión de factores virulentos, formación de biofilms o resistencia a antibióticos que pueden ser críticos para la salud y seguridad de los astronautas.

Once in orbit, severous parameters will be monitored, such as growth and bacterial intercellular communication processes of Quorum Sensing. These processes are of particular interest because of their influence on genetic expression of microorganisms, modifying their behaviour and, in pathogenic microorganisms, the expression of the virulent factor, bioflims formation or resitance to antibiotics which may be critical to the health and astronaut safety. urthermore, we will be able to demostrate that the delivery of microorganisms in longdistance is viable to other intentions. We want to stand out the support given by the researchers Gustavo Bodelón González, Isabel Pastotiza and Jorge Pérez Juste from the Colloidal Chemistry Group of the CINBIO, and by Carmen Sieiro Vázquez, professor of Microbiology at the University of Vigo, in in the design of the biological research to be carried on board the satellite.

English (UK)