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Spiders In Space

July 15th, 2016

A pair of Golden Orb Spiders that apparently have “the right stuff” left their fears on earth and took a ride on the Shuttle Endeavor to the International Space Station. Although the crew was concerned about how the spiders would fare during the stressful journey it turns out that the two spiders named Gladys and Esmeralda are adjusting just fine to the weightless cosmic environment.

If I were a scientist perhaps I would understand how exposing spiders to a weightless environment is beneficial to the advancement of science, but the researchers in charge of the study know what they are doing. The experiment is being conducted with the purpose of understanding how spiders respond to weightlessness, and more specifically, whether or not the spiders are capable of spinning competent webs while…well…floating

The spiders, so far, are doing a bang up job building their space-webs. The webs that they have built are just as detailed as the ones they spin on earth. The two fruit flies that were also launched with the crew into space are also doing well, that is until they are fed to the two spiders. I bet when those fruit flies were still of this earth they never would have imagined that they would meet their end in space.

Is the experiment to determine whether or not spiders could spin webs in space a scientifically beneficial experiment? And if “yes” then why?

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