A small piece of Sue, the T. rex that lives at the Field Museum in Chicago, is headed for space.
Small pieces of Sue, the T. rex that lives at the Field Museum in Chicago, are headed for space. They're very, very small pieces. Microbes that had been collected from the dinosaur skeleton were loaded onto the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket headed for the International Space Station as part of a study to be conducted there.
The endeavor is called Project Mercurri, and it involves the examination of 48 microbes that have been gathered from various places on Earth.
Other notable sources include the Liberty Bell and the Benjamin Franklin Statue in Philadelphia. Sample swabs were also taken at various sporting events.
Initial testing showed that the scrapings taken from Sue contained traces of a widely used agricultural fertilizer.
Scientists are hoping to learn how they and the others behave in microgravity environments.
The long-term goal is to gather information that could be helpful in the planning of manned space flights that take place over extended periods of time.
For the duration of the experiment, regular, Earth-bound people can play along at home via spacemicrobes.org.
The site is hosting a play-off type game to see which microbe ultimately performs the best.