Content in this section supports the concepts of diversity and adaptations of organisms in the space environment. It includes information on the behavioral responses of animals to microgravity. The section also discusses the history of animals that have flown into space.
A Brief History of Animals in Space
American and Russian scientists used animals -- mainly monkeys, chimps and dogs -- to test each country's ability to launch a living organism into space and bring it back alive and unharmed.
Flies in Space
The site offers students in grades 5-8 information about NASA's life sciences research. The content focuses on the common fruit fly.
Laika, the First Dog in Space
View the stamps created to honor the first dog to travel into space.
Butterflies and Spiders in Space
These experiments examined the life cycles of the painted lady and the monarch butterflies and the behavior of an orb-weaving spider on the International Space Station. The investigation was called the Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus Science Insert -- 03 and commonly referred to as CSI-03. Scroll down the page for background information and the results of the experiments. Be sure and check out the image of the orb-weaving spider's web.
Spiders in Space -- The Sequel
This experiment was the second to study spiders on the space station. The scientific investigation called Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus Science Insert -- 05, or CSI-05, allowed scientists to observe the habits of two golden orb spiders in microgravity. Golden orb spiders spin 3-D asymmetric webs, unlike the orb-weaving spiders in CDI-03 that were selected for the symmetry of their web formation.
Spiders in Space -- Live!
Gladys and Esmeralda became space celebrities as scientists and students watched the pair of golden orb spiders adapt to living in microgravity. Read about the results of the Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus Science Insert -- 5, or CSI-05, experiment.
Ask a C. Elegans Expert
Learn about experiments that investigated the effects of spaceflight on C. elegans. Although the roundworm is a primitive, free-living (nonparasitic) organism, it shares many of the same biological characteristics found in humans.