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This is What Happened When NASA Sent Bees to Space

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But in one experiment, house flies mostly gave up on flying all together, according to a NASA memo referenced by Reddit user Cyanaman. Instead, their motions were limited to walking on walls. Interestingly, they did attempt to fly, but each sad attempt would only last for a few seconds at a time.

Jack Lousma, commander of 1982’s Space Shuttle Columbia, once wrote in his flight log: “The flies took to walking. They decided their wasn’t any use to flapping their wings and going out of control.”

Funny enough, moths that were born in space adapted ingenious methods to survive the conditions of microgravity. Much like the house fly, moths didn’t fly in space—but that doesn’t mean they gave up on aviation all together.

Instead, they figured out a way to float around without fluttering their wings. They just relaxed, chilled out, and let the low gravity conditions do all the work. It seems like they really took the “work smart not hard philosophy” to heart, which is probably why Lousma describes space moths as “very lively.”

On the other hand, moths who were born on Earth didn’t behave in the same way. Life aboard the space shuttle was a constant struggle. They had all sorts of problems in microgravity like easily loosing control when trying to fly orfloat, according to experiments performed aboard 1982’s space shuttleColumbia mission.

And in spite of what Futurama would have you bee-lieve about giant, murderous, space bees flying around the cosmos, “space bees” had the most trouble with flight during the 1982 mission.

futurama space bees gif imgur

Basically, life adapts to living in space. 

Fascinating that the earth bugs gave up on flying but the born-in-space bugs learned to fly.

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