Recently Google held a competition called “YouTube Space Lab”, challenging students to come up with suitable experiments that could be performed in space. The winners have now been picked, with both experiments determining the effects of microgravity, but on different subjects. The first is to establish how it can affect a jumping spider catching its prey, while the second observes the virulance of bacillus subtilis.
The six regional winning teams have already been treated to a ZERO-G weightless flight, designed to simulate the lack of gravity for short periods of time. They were also given a private tour of the Udvar-Hazy Air & Space Museum.
The experiments will be sent up to the International Space Station and performed later in the year. The winning contestants, meanwhile, have a choice in which prize to pick. Either they can go to Japan and watch the rocket that will whisk their experiments into space blast off, or wait until they’re 18 and take a week long astronaut course in Russia.
The experiments will be live streamed from the International Space Station on YouTube later on in the year. We’re already feeling a little sorry for the spider, to be honest.