Why is it important to keep a room where NASA build satellites steril ?

Why do engineers that build satellites or space probes keep their rooms where they build it steril. I often seen pictures with them like they are doctors and wear masks and seem to keep everything clean ?

5 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Check out this page:


    and you'll understand the importance of clean rooms. The first image shows a 1-millimeter (i.e. 0.04-inch) fiber that got stuck during assembly of one of the two STEREO space satellites.

    After a satellite is prepped for launch and effectively "up there", there's no way to go there clean up the optics and/or instruments if it is found that there's a speck ruining an image. All it takes is a tiny flake of dandruff or a little bit of saliva, or a small bug leaving a dropping on a lense or a CCD, or even a dust particle that hangs on to an optical surface during polishing, and it ruins the device on that part of the frame. Which means that you get artifacts that you have to pay attention to and circumvent (e.g. you may get something masked out by the presence of an artifact and you don't see it).

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    The word is "sterile", not "steril". NASA doesn't want to transport any Earth micro-organisms to contaminate another world or space with. That's why satellites and space probes are built in clean rooms. Even so, it is very difficult to keep things completely sterile, although discarding outer casings in LEO and friction with the atmosphere during launch sterilizes things as well.

    Source(s): More than 56 years of insulin injections, and more than a year of 6 injections per day, and only a very few incidents of infected cuts from inadvertent needle scratches over those 56+ years and counting.
  • 9 years ago

    they're called clean room. They are to help keep the instruments clean and functioning properly. Any accumulation of dust can severely degrade the performance of the scientific instruments on the space craft.

    Source(s): 20+ years working for a NASA contractor
  • 9 years ago

    When you are dealing with very sensitive scientific instruments, such as cameras, it's important to keep foreign object debris (FOD) away from the spacecraft. If something gets in there and causes problems, it's not exactly trivial to make a repair.

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  • 9 years ago

    Mold or other growths


    Can cause electrical problems


    When dealing with electrical equipment as delicate as what NASA has on satellites


    They got to keep out all unwanted things as possible


    Like look at what to much dust in our home computer can do to it


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