A Note To Parents: We make every effort for Roxanne's blog to be a SAFE site for children. Whenever possible, activities are in pdf format or link to safe sites for children. Please feel free to use the information in these posts for homeschool studies! All rights reserved by author and nature photographer, Virginia Parker Staat.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Spiders are Orbiting the Earth!

There are spiders circling the earth!  REALLY!!!

When space shuttle Endeavour launched yesterday, it carried some very special cargo.  Two young spiders were on board.  NASA calls them spidernauts.

The golden orb spiders (Nephilia clavipes) will be part of an experiment.  The human astronauts want to know how the spiders will spin their webs in microgravity (little to no gravity).

Golden orb spiders build very beautiful webs.  Will their webs look the same in space?

The spiders live in special boxes on the shuttle.  Once the astronauts dock with the space station, they will transfer the spiders and their habitat boxes onto the space station.

Part of Endeavour's cargo also includes food for the spiders.  They will eat fruit flies.  Fruit flies don't sound very tasty to me, but my spider friends love to eat them!

If you would like to learn more about the spidernauts, just click here:  http://solarsystem.jpl.nasa.gov/scitech/display.cfm?ST_ID=2378

By the end of the week, you can see the spiders in their new home on the space station.  Just click here:   BioEd Online 

The BioEd site also has lessons and other activities for you to use.

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