Come on, fish in space!
I dont trust this story. It just smells too fishy to me.
German scientists will today blast 60 baby cichlid fish 260km into space aboard a two-stage rocket to see how the poor blighters react to six minutes of weightlessness. The piscine guinea pigs will lift off from Sweden's Esrange Space Centre on the 11-metre Texus vessel, Reuters reports. Some will be subjected to a "pure zero …
Fish can tumble when they get ammonia / nitrite poisoning.
i.e.: fish poo when stressed, that's why when you get home the bag is full of detritus. "Ammo" tablets will alleviate some of that. More importantly, they tumble as their swim bladders burst -- which is extremely like to happen during launch.
I imagine they will be going up in bags or tupperware "lunch" boxes -- as water weighs a hell of a lot, never mind the glass holding it.
I bet Paris Hilton would have better ideas.
I bet the Muppets wish they'd had more imagination!
But seriously, the only way to know for sure - in light of the erudite and incisive advice above - would be to include one of theose 'Fish Castles' in the bowl and see if they manage to swim through the arch while weightless.
My worry is how the poor things will manage the manual re-entry procedures (if necessary), and how they'll cope with extra vehicular activity should running repairs be required.
And if they are German Fishtronauts, might they be taken ill (but not life threatening) while in space?
So where do they get the oxygen from? The fish I've got wouldn't survive very happily in a sealed water environment - combine that with weightlessness I can imagine they'll either be swimming in globules of water, or suffocating in watertight containers.
Either way, paves the way for a catch and release scheme on the ISS eventually. I'm sure they'd love that to combat the boredom.
Mine's the parka jacket next to the waders.
NASA hasn't reached the 'celebrity barrier' yet. Fish are thought to have an attention span measurable in seconds, rather than the z-list nano seconds, so the current experiment may have merit.
Once they start sending meaningless celebrities into space as an experiment in 'social interaction', then all credibility will be lost. They are probably negotiating with Paris Hilton's agent and any male rock star too cocained-up to say no, as we speak.
That day will come, as evidenced by the trend toward sending items up for the astronauts 'comfort', like gymnasium modules and aquariums. Next will be 'art', and Paris is rumoured to be holding out for a pink space suit (the space-fashion equivalent of hi-viz).