In April 2011, an orb weaver spider will join the STS-134 crew aboard space shuttle Endeavour for a trip to the International Space Station. Once on board the space station, the spider will star in an exciting experiment to observe its behaviors in microgravity. The spider will live in a safe environment that provides food and water. The special habitat allows the spider to be monitored continuously. Real-time photos and video of the spider will be transmitted from the space station back to Earth and made available on the “Spiders in Space” Mission page.
Baylor College of Medicine in Houston has created a complete curricular module. It will allow students and teachers worldwide to conduct their own classroom investigations comparing ground-based spiders with those living in microgravity on the space station. The teacher’s guide for the Spiders in Space module is free. Visit the link below to register and download the module guide. It provides information on the orb weaver spider, housing and care for a spider, and setting up a classroom-based investigation with your students.
To learn more and download the guide, visit http://bioedonline.org/space/STS_Mission_134S.cfm