Okay, long story short:
You may know that Janie recently dressed up as a Ladybug for a Halloween Party. You may also know that ladybugs have varying numbers and patterns of spot which indicate thier SPECIES, not their age (although the colour of spots are an indicator of age). I came acorss this fact while looking up ladybug information for Janie's costume on the world wide web. While doing so I came across this page. Cute little page about "Ladybirds", not terribly accademic. You may notice, however, an interesting addtion on the bottum of the page.
LADYBUGS IN SPACE
NASA Quest, a resource page for children and teachers, sites a online chat session where children could ask real astronauts questions. Indeed, according to this interview with Eileen Collins, leader of the famed 1999 shuttle, Eileen says that they do plan on taking ladybugs into space.
And finally, here at http://spaceflight.nasa.gov, the ships itnerary is listed, including one Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus (CGBA) samples included ladybugs, aphids and caterpillars.
Now, here is my purpose for this post. I would like to hear from you, the readers, in response to these questions: What purpose could such an experiment have? Commercial? Philosophical? Purely Recreational? And should we stop at Ladybugs? What if roaches eat differently in space? Or fireflies! And what of mammals? Purhaps bats hang rightside-up in space! May dogs can actually catch their own tails! How will we know unless we try? And Would it be unethical to put sheep into space, just to see the looks on their faces?
Respond Now! Inquiring minds need to know!
(okay, long story short-ER. sorry.)