Orion’s Quest “Spiders in Space” virtual mission supports the research of NASA scientists and piggybacks on the OQ “Fruit Flies in Space” mission.
This space-based research project gathers data about the interaction and movements of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and the orb weaving spider Nephila clavipesliving in the same habitat while onboard the International Space Station (ISS).
Recommended for 5th-10th grade students
The investigation focuses on the spiders and is designed to study the differences between webs spun in the space-based experiment and the earth-based control experiment. Students will be asked to do a variety of activities including measurement of the growth of the spider and observing and recording the web spinning process in microgravity.
Students will participate in the activities by analyzing and comparing photos and video from both the space-based and earth-based investigations via the Orion’s Quest website. Student data will be submitted to the Principle Investigator (PI) for the mission.