Last October, three astronauts and 32 small fish were sent to the International Space Station, or ISS. The astronauts included commander Kevin Ford and Russian cosmonauts Evgeny Tarelkin and Oleg Novitskiy.
The medaka fish, a freshwater fish native to southeast Asia, were sent into space to see how microgravity impacts marine life, particularly how their skeletal system changes in a weightless environment.
The fish make ideal space and science candidates because they are transparent, so it’s easy to see how their organs work inside.
Once arriving on the station, the tiny fish were transferred to an Aquatic Habitat, provided by the Japanese Space Agency.
So how are those fish doing now? Well, most of them are dead, according to crew members aboard the ISS, who participated in a live webcast today, speaking to an audience from some 240 miles above Earth.
Some of the sacrificed fish were soon sent back to Earth as preserved specimens. Japan se researchers will study the fish to learn more about the causes of bone loss in space.
Others that stayed on the space station are now in the freezer, said astronaut Chris Hadfield from the Canadian Space Agency (Hadfield also did an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit the other day, in which he revealed that astronauts deal with a steady threat of radiation, meteors and system failure).
One thing you can count on — the aquatic creatures gave their life for science.
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