Sometime in the not-too-distant future, NASA and other space groups around the world are starting manned missions that are deeper in our solar system than our species has ever gone before. For the astronauts who go for them, that means long trips and longer stays in weightlessness, and this could be a problem. NASA wants to know more. To this end, the agency examined how other species handle low gravity, especially mice. The results are equally interesting and humorous.
As NASA stated in a new blog post, the scientists, along with some furry little rodents, sent a specially designed mouse habitat module to the International Space Station. The enclosure allowed researchers to remotely monitor the behavior of mice from Earth via video feeds, and now we can enjoy these videos for ourselves.
As you will undoubtedly notice in the video, the mice appear at the beginning of the experiment. They flop around, drifting through the little cages, trying to figure out which way to go, but to no avail. However, it does not take long for the mice to assert themselves, to adapt remarkably well to their new environment, and even take advantage of gravity to their advantage as they move around the cage.
Then things with videos really get wild from the 1
NASA researchers wanted to know if the mice would perform the same activities they were observing on Earth. The study showed that the mice retained much of their routines, including self-care and hunger-eating.
Research such as this can help NASA better prepare for future missions to and beyond Mars by identifying the potential behavioral and biological changes found in mammals exposed to prolonged periods of weightlessness. It seems that it also produces some amazing videos.