Right now, caterpillars are circling the earth! Yesterday NASA launched space shuttle Atlantis. The astronauts took many experiments with them. One of their experiments will use caterpillars.
Tomorrow, the shuttle will dock with the international space station. The astronauts will leave the caterpillars on the space station.
The caterpillars will live in space. They will live in a special home. It will have air, food, and water. It will have all the things they need. The only thing missing will be gravity.
Scientists want to learn how butterflies grow in space. They want to learn if the caterpillars will make cocoons. They want to learn if they will hatch into butterflies. They want to learn if the butterflies will fly.
NASA wants you to be part of this experiment. You can watch the butterflies on the computer. Just go to http://www.k8science.org/space/STS_Mission_129.cfm. NASA also has projects that you can use for school. Have fun with NASA’s “butterflynauts!”