Ant Farm Colony Sent into Space

Geo Beats
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A resupply mission to the International Space Station by the Orbital Sciences Cygnus spacecraft launched on January 9th, with around 800 living ants onboard.

A resupply mission to the International Space Station by the Orbital Sciences Cygnus spacecraft launched on January 9th, with around 800 living ants onboard.

The ants are part of an experiment involving K through 12 students, who will participate in the study via camera footage from the space station, to see how the colony can survive while in orbit of our planet and how their movement patterns change when they are living in microgravity.

According to Tara Ruttley, a NASA associate International Space Station program scientist: “The students will have their own educational experiments with the ants set up in different classrooms all around the country.”

There are a total of 8 ant farms included as part of the 2,780 pounds of other cargo like food, gear and other necessary supplies being sent to astronauts living on the International Space Station.

This is the first time that ants have been studied in space, but there have been previous studies done on a variety of different animals to see how they adapt in microgravity and how they re-adapt when back on Earth.

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