Butterflies In Space

Butterflies In Space

Launched to the International Space Station aboard NASA’s mission STS-129 in November of 2009, this activity focuses on the ability of “Painted Lady Butterflies”, Vanessa cardui to “pupate” in microgravity.

 

This activity supports the research of the Butterfly Pavilion at Westminster, CO. Students construct a butterfly habitat in the classroom mimicking the structure and conditions of the “in-flight” habitat aboard the International Space Station.

Dr. Louis Stodieck

University of Colorado, Boulder

Principal Investigator (PI’s)

Mary Ann Hamilton

Butterfly Pavilion, Colorado

Principal Investigator (PI’s)

Utilizing the same butterfly larva and food supply being used in both the microgravity and ground control experiments, students follow the larva to pupa stage of the butterfly life cycle. At the teacher’s discretion, students’ access photos of the space and earth-based activities via the Orion’s Quest website and analyze these photos, comparing them with classroom outcomes. Data entered through the online interactive data page will be submitted to the Principle Investigator (PI) for possible inclusion in databases.

Butterflies In Space – Additional Reading