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Butterfly experiment goes into space

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only
by Staff Writers
Cape Canaveral, Fla. (UPI) Nov 16, 2009
Monarch and painted lady butterfly larvae rode into space Monday aboard space shuttle Atlantis in an experiment to be monitored by thousands of U.S. students.

The University of Colorado at Boulder butterfly larvae educational payload was designed and built by BioServe Space Technologies, a NASA-funded center located in the university's aerospace engineering department.

CU-Boulder, with the help of the K-12 students, will compare the growth and development of butterfly larvae in the weightless environment of the International Space Station with butterfly larvae being raised simultaneously in participating classrooms on Earth.

The project is the fourth educational experiment to be flown by CU-Boulder aboard the space station.

"One of the most exciting things about this project is that we can use the International Space Station to bring spaceflight experiments into classrooms around the country," BioServe Director Louis Stodieck said. "Our continuing goal is to inspire K-12 students around the country in science, technology, engineering and math."

About 100 elementary and middle schools across the nation are to officially participate in the project, with hundreds of other schools monitoring the experiment.

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