One way or another, it’s likely that the future will see humans leave Earth, perhaps to build a new home somewhere else. It also raises big questions like: what if people tried to get married in space? Will babies be born healthy and able to adapt to life on Earth?
Although some scientific studies suggest that babies born in space could be perfectly healthy, the truth is that no one knows for sure. In an attempt to find the answer, biologists have been sending animals into space for years to see if they can successfully reproduce in orbit.
Biologists have been sending animals into space for years
Biologists have been sending animals into space for many years.
However, at this point, there still seem to be more questions than answers. Most animals that have spawned in space are invertebrates like worms and snails. More complex evolved animals tend to be more sensitive to change, and vertebrates sent into space often have a less fortunate fate.
Understanding how vertebrates function in space will have important implications for the future of humanity elsewhere in the galaxy. So far, scientists have found that while some animals can give birth more or less normally in orbit, others have health problems. And as a study published in the journal Life (Basel) reveals, the main problem seems to be the lack of gravity. However, so far, some animals (vertebrates and invertebrates) have managed to mate and reproduce successfully in space. And below are a few creatures born and bred in space.
In 1947, fruit flies were sent into space before humans.
The first (non-human) astronauts were fruit flies. In 1947, as Nature noted, several species of insects were launched into orbit on a German V2 rocket, more than a decade before NASA was founded.
Since then, fruit flies have become an important test animal in studies of how spaceflight affects living things: genetic and cell biology cells look amazingly like humans and are small enough that we can transport an “army” of fruit. fly in space. Because they’re handy little animals to use in experiments, they’ve continued to be test subjects in the 21st century, flying into orbit on a SpaceX Dragon capsule long before any human can.
In some experiments, fruit flies have successfully produced orbiting offspring. As a PLoS ONE study, this happened in 2006 during a test aboard NASA’s space shuttle.
However, there is one detail related to the space-born fruit fly, which is they have a weakened immune system. While the adult flies were unaffected by their space travel, their young exhibited cellular changes that made them less able to fight off bacterial infections.
Other studies have also shown that, Orbiting microgravity environment causes fruit fly sperm their activity slows down, making them less active and can affect fruit fly fertility.
NASA’s STS-40 space shuttle mission in 2014 sent jellyfish into orbit.
By far the most prolific reproductive organism in orbit is the china. NASA’s STS-40 space shuttle mission in 2014 was the first space mission dedicated entirely to life sciences. This shuttle carries 2,000 jellyfish as passengers. At the end of the mission, they had thousands of new chicks.
Cockroaches are renowned for their tenacity and survivability, and they have good resistance to radiation.
In 2007, an experiment conducted by the Russian space agency Roscosmos sought to get cockroaches to mate in orbit. Cockroaches are renowned for their toughness and survivability, and they are more resistant to radiation than humans, which would certainly be a useful skill in orbit where radiation levels are significantly higher than humans here in Earth’s surface.
The cockroaches in the Russian experiment weren’t actually born in space. The mother cockroach, named Ɲadezhda (the Russian word for hope), only gave birth upon her safe return to the Earth’s surface. Space cockroaches have proven that designing in microgravity is no problem for creatures on Earth. It seems that health problems affecting other animals born in space have appeared during their growth and development.
Many species of fish have difficulty swimming in microgravity due to disorientation.
The study of life in space is most useful to humans when it comes from other vertebrates, and the first vertebrates to breed in space were fish. As explained in Life (Basel), an experiment carried out in 1994 showed for the first time that vertebrates could mate, fertilize and hatch in space.
The experiment is codenamed MEDAKA.named after the fish in question – Japanese anchovies, also known as medak. Many species of fish have difficulty swimming in microgravity, due to disorientation from the lack of gravity they swim around trying to find their way back. However, Medaka fish have an amazing ability to withstand microgravity, they can swim normally in space. This makes them quite suitable to become underwater astronauts.
The first Medika to fly aboard the Space Shuttle laid a total of 43 eggs, eight of which hatched before landing, creating the first healthy fish born in space. However, adult fish are not well adapted to microgravity.
Frogs born in space will be less healthy than fish.
According to Life (Basel), frogs born in space are less healthy than fish. On Earth, frog eggs need gravity to survive. However, their embryos tend to develop certain abnormalities, which can lead to birth defects when in space.
The Japanese quail was born on the Mir space station.
A lesser-known part of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union was the contest to lay the first bird eggs in space. In 1990, according to a review in Life (Basel), the Soviet Union won this competition when Japanese quail were born on the Mir space station. The eggs were fertilized on Earth, then sent to space, where they were incubated and hatched in Earth orbit. This first experiment says a lot about the development of animals in microgravity.
For one thing, the incubation time is comparable to the time they would normally spend on Earth’s surface: animals don’t take much longer to develop when they’re in space. On the other hand, newly hatched chicks are also more likely to have birth defects, including brain, eye and beak defects, and hatch rates are significantly lower than normal. It is clear that animals can be very sensitive to near-gravity environments.
China put monkeys into orbit in 2022.
China officially inaugurated the new Tiangong space station in November 2022, and the China National Space Administration (ϹNSA) intends to take pets in orbit to a new level.
Its largest module, named Wentian, is dedicated to life science experiments, with more than 1,000 experiments already planned. Including a project to send monkeys into space to study how they reproduce in microgravity. If successful, they will not only be the first mammals born in orbit, but also the most human-like animals to breed in space.
Article source: PNVN
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One way or another, it’s likely that the future will see humans leave Earth, perhaps to build a new home somewhere else. This according to…