Skip to main content
43 votes

Are there types of animals that can't make the trip to space? (physiologically)

To keep an animal alive, a spacecraft needs to create conditions (e.g. temperature, pressure, concentrations of gases or electrolytes) within the animal's normal physiological range. We can recreate ...
DrSheldon's user avatar
  • 48k
29 votes

How would a mousetrap for use in space work?

Other suggestions here for trap mechanisms may have incorporated consideration of zero gravity on the operation of the trap, but not upon the mouse itself. In zero gravity, searching for a mouse is no ...
Michael MacAskill's user avatar
29 votes

Is there any reason that we have not sent a small mammal to Mars?

Mice probably are too short-lived, you want something larger (unless you are building a generation ship!) Domestic mice have a lifespan of up to about 30 months. This is not very long for Mars ...
ikrase's user avatar
  • 8,874
26 votes
Accepted

Did Ham the Chimp follow commands, or did he just randomly push levers?

I'll preface my answer with the comment that it was a different time and the way that experimental animals, even primates, were treated was different than today. tl;dr the chimpanzee was trained to ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
22 votes
Accepted

Are there free insects in the ISS?

Jared Olson, robotics instructor and flight controller at Johnson Space Center, claims not, and as an entomologist I think that's actually plausible. It sounds like there are extensive quarantine and ...
tardigrade's user avatar
20 votes

Are there types of animals that can't make the trip to space? (physiologically)

The two extremes are the most-likely sources of death for creatures in space - weightlessness and the g-force of takeoff. Weightlessness could be a critical issue for any creature which relies ...
Jeutnarg's user avatar
  • 301
19 votes

How would a mousetrap for use in space work?

There are many types of mousetraps, the traditional "snap trap" is unlikely to work well because it is dependent on pressure. Lethal traps like snap traps would be undesirable: Humane concerns Dead ...
GdD's user avatar
  • 20.3k
17 votes

How would a mousetrap for use in space work?

A solution that comes to mind is to seal off one section of the ISS at a time and depressurize it. Finding and removing dead mice may be somewhat easier than finding and removing live ones that are ...
Dan Pichelman's user avatar
16 votes
Accepted

Is there anything on the ISS that would be destroyed if that object were returned safetly to Earth?

Floating water (or other fluid) droplets cannot be returned to Earth without losing their form. Photo credit NASA
Organic Marble's user avatar
12 votes

Are there types of animals that can't make the trip to space? (physiologically)

Lugworms living in the sand below tidal sea waters. They need gravity to burrow in and feed from the tiny animals living between sand particles. They would survive some weeks without food. Starfish, ...
Uwe's user avatar
  • 49k
12 votes

How would a mousetrap for use in space work?

I believe that funnel traps should work in zero-gravity. They are not active, do not use gravity or springs. Gravity may help the mouse fall in for those with opening at the top but imho that is not ...
jkavalik's user avatar
  • 5,128
11 votes
Accepted

When was there a dog in ISS's Kibo module?

No dog was ever on the ISS. This is from an advert of a Japanese cell phone provider called SoftBank. Here's the full video: The ad is part of a series. This episode ...
Rikki-Tikki-Tavi's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

Why did Ham the Chimp push levers?

This was to test the change in the chimp's reaction time from the ground to space. It was a human analog experiment--i.e. the results of the test were used to make estimations of how human reaction ...
called2voyage's user avatar
  • 23.7k
10 votes

How would a mousetrap for use in space work?

Modern problems require modern solutions! You can't rely on gravity. what you want is a modified vacuum cleaner. Essentially a suction device with a metal grill to catch the mouse (nobody wants to ...
Ruadhan2300's user avatar
10 votes

Can fish really live in microgravity without water?

Gills aren't purely for respiration. Fish constantly excrete ammonia and urea from their gills and without sufficient water to wash the waste away this would soon cause death, much like how too small ...
Glenn's user avatar
  • 111
9 votes
Accepted

If mice escaped on the International Space Station, could they live and thrive?

I'm going to take this one medium-seriously. The mice can clearly figure out how to clamber about in microgravity, and they also are seen eating so I assume they could take care of their basic needs ...
ben's user avatar
  • 1,156
9 votes
Accepted

Why did the Zond 5 tortoises lose body mass so quickly?

It's important to note that the tortoises carried on the Zond flight were probably not given any food or water, and I suspect they were selected because they could survive that for a long period. So ...
Andy's user avatar
  • 5,178
8 votes
Accepted

Where are remains of laika?

As @Uhoh answered in comments: * The Wikipedia article about Laika says: "Over five months later, after 2,570 orbits, Sputnik 2—including Laika's remains—disintegrated during re-entry on 14 April ...
Rory Alsop's user avatar
  • 13.6k
8 votes

How would a mousetrap for use in space work?

Same as on Earth, just get a cat! I venture to speculate that the felonaut has the advantage in microgravity. Once a cat holds on to something with its claws, and while waiting there detects a mouse ...
LocalFluff's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

Were any mammals born in space (or are there any confirmed planned missions to breed them)?

Almost certainly if a mammal would have given birth in zero gravity, it would have been mice, rats, or other similar rodents. I have found a few studies which had mice that were pregnant at launch, ...
PearsonArtPhoto's user avatar
  • 121k
7 votes

Fe, Fi, Fo, Fum, and Phooey: Which one died on Apollo 17?

Partial answer posted as a community wiki: The dead mouse was a male, numbered A-3352. The most complete account of the Apollo 17 pocket mouse experiment is provided in Biomedical Results of Apollo (...
6 votes

How would a mousetrap for use in space work?

How might a mousetrap for use in space work? How might it differ from terrestrial 1 g mousetraps? Most of mouse traps don't rely on gravity. At least, the classic, spring-loaded, killing traps. ...
Agent_L's user avatar
  • 414
6 votes

Are there types of animals that can't make the trip to space? (physiologically)

No, because the "space" is mostly just "no gravity" but the gravity can be simulated just by rotation. Also, any animals are unlikely to die immediately without the gravity because otherwise just ...
Nightrider's user avatar
  • 2,035
6 votes
Accepted

Post-shuttle, "Have any animals that have been studied onboard the ISS come back alive?"

Yes. A nice example would be the recent splashdown of the first SpaceX Dragon capsule to have been re-used after a previous visit to the ISS. See for example Spaceflight Now's July 3, 2017 article ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
6 votes

Could Laika have survived the Van Allen radiation during the intended duration of her mission?

Humans have passed through the Van Allen belts and lived, but you know that. The outer belts are the highest radiation ones, and those are out beyond the ~1600km maximum of the Sputnik 2 orbit. ...
Jon Custer's user avatar
5 votes

Why did the Zond 5 tortoises lose body mass so quickly?

Not only were they starved, they were starved for a lot longer than the 6-day duration of the mission. According to this translation of Gaidamakin et al. (1969), the "turtles" (steppe ...
Ben Bolker's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

Rabbits in Space

Public information on rabbits in space is surprisingly sparse. The earliest instance I have been able to find is the July 2, 1959 launch of the Soviet R-2, which reportedly carried the first rabbit ...
called2voyage's user avatar
  • 23.7k
5 votes

What animals would be best suited as pets or comfort animals for extended periods of spaceflight in microgravity?

Logistics sets some applicable limits: Animals require food, produce waste. The larger the animals, the more resources required. In an environment where every gram is expensive, this means animals ...
SE - stop firing the good guys's user avatar
5 votes

What kind of training did chimpanzees go through at the Chimp College?

Jerie Cobb was referring to research being performed at the Holloman Aero-Medical Center, at Holloman Air Force Base near Alamogordo, New Mexico. Most of the center's work was laboratory testing of ...
DrSheldon's user avatar
  • 48k
4 votes
Accepted

What living organisms adapt to 0 gravity?

The cat and pigeon tests were done on parabolic flights in an airplane. Quail have been brought to space. They didn't do well. They had trouble eating and had to be fed. During the 7-day tour of ...
Hobbes's user avatar
  • 128k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible