Space-traveling spider, “Spidernaut,” finds a home at the National Museum of Natural History’s popular Insect Zoo

What: 

Space-traveling spider, “Spidernaut,” finds a home at the National Museum of Natural History’s popular Insect Zoo

When: 

Thursday, November 29, 2012 – 11:30am12:00pm

Where: 

Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History
10th Street and Constitution Avenue N.W.
On the second floor at the Insect Zoo

A jumping spider of the species Phidippus johnsoni recently returned from a 100-day stay in space, en route to and as a resident aboard the International Space Station. She is the first jumping spider to return from space and successfully readjust to life on Earth. The Museum of Natural History’s director and associate director will welcome the Insect Zoo’s first “Spidernaut” to her new home.

The “Spidernaut” was a part of a student-initiated experiment to see if a jumping spider could adjust its hunting technique to still catch its prey in a microgravity environment. The experiment was proposed by 18-year-old Amr Mohamed from Alexandria, Egypt, through a worldwide science project and contest called YouTube Space Lab and transformed into a successful spaceflight investigation by BioServe Space Technologies. The result was that “Nefertiti,” named in honor of Egypt’s ancient history, adapted to her new environment, and the observations made by NASA astronaut Sunita Williams were streamed online to viewers on Earth.

Space is extremely limited, so RSVP Kelly Carnes at carnesk@si.edu for access.

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SI-522-2012


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