What happens to a live fish in zero gravity? We'll soon find out.
An experiment to study the effects of microgravity on fish will bring 32 medakas, a small fish native to Southeast Asia, to the International Space Station in October.
When the next Russian-built Soyuz capsule launches to the International Space Station in October, it will deliver three new crewmembers to the orbiting outpost. But the trio of spaceflyers will be sharing their ride with some special cargo: 32 small fish for a science experiment at the space lab.
NASA astronaut Kevin Ford and Russian cosmonauts Evgeny Tarelkin and Oleg Novitskiy are scheduled to launch to the International Space Station on Oct. 15 from the Baikonour Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Their Soyuz TMA-06M capsule will also be carrying 32 medaka fish — a type of fish native to Southeast Asia — to the orbiting complex.
"They'll be on our Soyuz with us — 32 fish, plus the three of us," Ford told reporters in a news briefing Thursday (July 26).
The medakas will become part of an experiment carried out on the station to investigate the effects of microgravity on fish. The astronauts aboard the outpost will monitor changes in the fish as they live in orbit. [7 Everyday Things that Happen Strangely In Space]
"When we come onboard, one of the first items will be to get these fish transferred and into their habitat and get the experiment underway," Ford explained.