Spiders in Space

Biological Sciences Professor David Wise and Doctoral Student Cristian Martinez served as science mentors to a team of students from Unity Junior High School in Cicero attempting to send spiders into space. The project was a microgravity experiment designed by local participants in the Student Spaceflight Experiment Program, sponsored by the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education. The students raised their spiders (species Diplostyla concolor) in terrariums at their local schools and UIC, and on October 7 launched the SpaceX Dragon rocket containing the spiders. After about six weeks in orbit, the spiders will return to earth for students to determine the survivability of their egg sacks during launch and their subsequent development in space.