NASA Studies Butterflies in Space

Photo via flickr by tiswango

Astronauts are not the only ones earning wings on the International Space Station. Butterflies emerged aboard the station recently, to the delight of science students across the country.

The butterfly experiment, which included stunning Monarch and Painted Lady butterflies, is focused on stimulating science education across  the country by studying the insects’ development and behavior in microgravity. Hundreds of science teachers are participating with ground-based versions of the study and sharing the excitement with their students. The Monarchs were the first to be sent into space, while the Painted Ladies were the first to undergo a full metamorphosis from larva to pupa to adult while in orbit. Dr. Nancy Moreno, professor at the Baylor College of Medicine, is the project’s principal investigator.

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