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43

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 nearly any environment; however, the resources necessary to do this may be prohibitive. Thus, the answer to the question is that it may be possible, yet ...


28

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 longer an effectively 2-dimensional search of and behind surfaces. The moment a mouse escaped its enclosure and tried to walk along a surface, the very act of ...


26

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 press levers upon the illumination of light signals to avoid receiving electrical shocks. Details follow: Subject 61 (aka Ham for Holloman Aerospace Medicine) got ...


23

No answer to this question is likely to be complete, but I have tried to gather what sources are available to give a good representation of the animal research on the International Space Station (ISS). Here is a list of the types of animals that have been on the ISS with as much detail as I could find about them. The final portion is an attempt at getting a ...


21

YES, They have come back alive at least once, aboard Space Shuttle Discovery in the Mice Drawer System (made in Italy). STS-128 - Source: Mouse Hotel Opens on Space Station MDS was carried to the ISS on August 28, 2009, and returned on November 27th, 2009, setting the longest permanence in space for rodents of 91 days. Three wild type (Wt) and three PTN-...


21

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 disinsection procedures for materials launched to the ISS, and while I imagine a handful of small insects are occasionally carried inside pressurised parts of ...


20

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 totally on gravity for swallowing - it's likely that some bird species would not be able to properly eat or drink in space. In the long-term, it's likely that a few ...


19

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 mice are a health concern in a closed environment You want the mice alive for experimentation So that leaves you with non-lethal traps, the two that come to ...


17

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 actively avoiding capture. (I fully agree with the comments - removing the dead mice would be a major problem)


16

There have been several experiments with fish in space; as far as I can tell, all have used water rather than humid air as the habitat. While there is no definitive answer available as of 2013 (lack of empirical research), present research suggests fish cannot really live in space without water. It appears difficult to keep fish alive and healthy in a ...


15

Floating water (or other fluid) droplets cannot be returned to Earth without losing their form. Photo credit NASA


13

There's a whole Wikipedia page dedicated to this exact topic, so I'm just going to quote the first instance, and the rest is then available on the page: The first animals sent into space were fruit flies aboard a U.S.-launched V-2 rocket on February 20, 1947. The purpose of the experiment was to explore the effects of radiation exposure at high ...


12

437 days in a single stretch. The mammal was a relatively standard specimen of Homo sapiens sapiens. Known affectionately as Valeri Polyakov by his handlers, the subject was launched to orbit on-board Soyuz TM-6 on August 29, 1988. The mammalian subject was allowed free movement in a spacious 350 cubic meter enclosure, provided with a diet consisting of ...


12

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 strictly needed as other designs use openings on the sides. Image source Little Green Shop


12

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, sea urchin, sea cucumbers could not live in microgravity for longer time. They need the ocean floor to move and search for food. Starfish and sea urchins do not ...


10

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 time would change in spaceflight. Ham's average reaction time on the ground was .8 second, and during flight he averaged .82 second. The assessment was that he ...


9

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 of an aquarium allows these substances to quickly accumulate to toxic levels (which begs the question about how waste and hygiene would be managed in the first ...


9

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 puree a rodent!) Given that the mouse is essentially guiding itself along the wall, it doesn't have anything to cling to, and gravity is a non-factor. So the ...


8

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 weight loss would be inevitable. (We know that Apollo 17 carried pocket mice in the Command Module to study radiation exposure, and that the species was chosen ...


8

All laboratory animals are sent and returned together, so far as I've ever heard. The animals are part of an experiment, and the experiment is not brought back piecemeal. However, though the dead animals won't be 'floating around the station' I do wonder how the body is preserved before shipment down. Presumably, decomposition could be an issue.


8

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 1958." For basic historical questions like this, it's always worth looking at Wikipedia first, and then coming here if you cannot find the info you need.


7

How about a non-zero-gravity litter box? While cats have a natural inclination towards the litterbox anything unconventional requires a certain amount of training and kittens require a certain amount of training anyway--you start out with the cat in a fairly small environment that includes the litter box, once it has a good understanding that that's where ...


7

The nematode, or roundworm, known as Caenorhabditis elegans, is able to reproduce fully in space from mating through development. Though simple, the nematode is an animal and it is one of the most studied creatures on the International Space Station. I am not aware of any other animals that have been observed to successfully reproduce in space. Here is the ...


7

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 is called "父と交信" or (Communicating with Dad; 父/dad being the dogs name). I found no hint that the production was in any way extraordinary. It appears to be ...


7

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 if sustenance were available. I have no information to support this but I feel like they would figure out the copulation aspect too. "Life, uh, finds a way." ...


6

Laika was never expected to make it back alive because the Sputnik 2 capsule it was launched in didn't have any means of deorbiting. From Anatoly Zak's Russian Space Web page on Sputnik-2: As remembered by Yevgeniy Shabarov, "after placing Laika in the container and before closing the hatch, we kissed her nose and wished her bon voyage, knowing that ...


6

It's not an optimal solution, but fitted cat-diapers might suffice, at least for short periods.


6

A scholarly article documented the student experiment involving fish was published in the journal Zoological Science by the Zoological Society of Japan and summarizes the set-up and results of the experiment. Apparently there were no goldfish on-board from a student experiment; these were Medaka fish fry. There is no mention in the abstract if the results ...


6

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 floating in open air without steering, it should be able to jump straight at it and catch it.


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