At some point in the near future, NASA and other space groups around the world will begin manned missions deeper into our solar system than our species has ever been. That means long journeys and longer stays in micro gravity for the astronauts boarding, and that can be a problem.
Thanks to the International Space Station we know quite a lot about the effects of low gravity on the human body, but NASA wants to learn more. To this end, the agency investigated how other species deal with low gravity, particularly aimed at mice. The results are interesting and humorous in equal parts.
As NASA explains in a new blog post, scientists have sent a specially designed mouse habitat module to the international space station, along with some of the furry little rodents. The housing allowed researchers to study the behavior of the mice remotely from the earth through video feeds, and now we can enjoy those video & # 39; s ourselves.
As you will undoubtedly notice in the video, the mice seem absolutely uncomfortable at the start of the experiment. They flop around floating in the small cages of the cage and do their best to find out which way is, but without result. However, it doesn't take long for the mice to start striking, adapting remarkably well to their new environment, and even using the lack of gravity to their advantage while pushing themselves around the cage.
That's when things really go wild, with video from day 11 of the experiment showing that the mice are not just dealing with gravity change, but are actually enjoying it. Several of the mice see circles running around the cage walls and turning the entire enclosure into a sort of hamster wheel.
NASA researchers wanted to see if the mice would continue to do the same kind of activities that they had observed on Earth. The study showed that the mice kept many of their routines intact, including self-care and food when they were hungry.
This type of research can help NASA to better prepare for future missions to Mars and beyond by revealing the types of behavioral and biological changes that may occur in mammals exposed to prolonged stay in microgravity. It looks like it also produces some great video & # 39; s.