Tuesday, December 15, 2009
As hundreds of students watched on Earth, three monarch butterflies from the University of Kansas lived for a week aboard the International Space Station before dying.
Chip Taylor, director of the Monarch Watch program, says the experiment was a success and provided valuable education for students in hundreds of classrooms. The last of the butterflies died Friday night.
He says the butterflies did remarkably well, considering the disadvantages they had living in space. The insects have a normal adult life span is two to four weeks in the spring and summer.
Taylor says that the four-week experiment introduced children to the difficulties of life in space, and revealed new information about the monarchs' gravitational sense.