NASA Has Been Breeding Jellyfish in Space for 20 Years

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Since the early 1990s, we humans have been doing something both odd and eminently sensible: We’ve been launching jellyfish into space. And we have been doing it for science. During NASA’s first Spacelab Life Sciences (SLS-1) mission in 1991, NASA began conducting an experiment: “The Effects of Microgravity-Induced Weightlessness on Aurelia Ephyra Differentiation and Statolith Synthesis.” To carry it out, the space shuttle Columbia launched into space a payload of 2,478 jellyfish polyps — creatures contained within flasks and bags that were filled with artificial seawater. Astronauts injected chemicals into those bags that would induce the polyps to swim freely (and, ultimately, reproduce). Read more…

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