Headlines > News > 10 Florida Elementary Schools Opportunity Can Study "Butterflies in Space" on STS-129

10 Florida Elementary Schools Opportunity Can Study "Butterflies in Space" on STS-129

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Sat Sep 12, 2009 10:04 am via: source
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Painted Lady Butterfly

Painted Lady Butterfly

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (Space Florida) – Space Florida and BioServe Space Technologies (based at the University of Colorado), are providing an opportunity for 10 Florida elementary schools to participate in a unique International Space Station (ISS)-bound life science investigation to launch aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis’ upcoming mission (STS-129) in November.

BioServe, a company that already develops a variety of hardware and experiments for the ISS (many through Space Florida’s Space Life Sciences Laboratory (SLSL) at Kennedy Space Center), approached Space Florida to help spread the word to Florida elementary schools to generate their participation and select 10 schools to study differences in developing butterfly larvae on the ground, versus those in microgravity aboard the ISS. Images from the ISS space flight experiment will be downlinked daily, so that participating students can observe the difference in results for each test group of larvae. Classroom butterfly habitats will be provided by BioServe’s “Butterflies in Space” program.

The BioServe Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus (CGBA) will be used to transport six-day old Vanessa cardui “Painted Lady Butterfly” and 10-day old Monarch Butterfly larvae to the ISS, via Space Shuttle Discovery. The butterfly larvae will be housed in a habitat that provides a suitable living environment and permits periodic examination of the organisms’ life cycle and behaviors in microgravity. The organisms will remain alive in space for the duration of their life cycle – about one month.

The deadline for Florida schools to apply is September 30, 2009 and schools will be awarded on a “first come, first served” basis. Interested Florida elementary schools should contact Space Florida Education Manager Emma Rader at erader@spaceflorida.gov.

The “Butterflies in Space” investigation is being offered to Florida Elementary students by Space Florida and BioServe to help generate student interest in and promote their understanding of space life science, technology, engineering and mathematics, as well as increase their awareness of organizations that help promote the space industry.

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