Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus Science Insert - 03: Spiders and Butterflies (CSI-03) - 09.17.14

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery
ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus Science Insert - 03 (CSI-03) is one investigation in the CSI program series. The CSI program provides the K-12 community opportunities to utilize the unique microgravity environment of the International Space Station as part of the regular classroom to encourage learning and interest in science, technology, engineering and math. CSI-03 will examine the complete life cycle of the painted lady butterfly, eat, grow and undergo metamorphosis in space.

Science Results for Everyone

Come into my spacecraft, said the spider to the butterfly. Two investigations took orb-weaver spiders and painted lady butterflies to the International Space Station and more than 180,000 students watched and compared those with spiders and butterflies in their classrooms. The first expedition, the butterflies did not successfully pupate due to food problems, but the spiders thrived and students tracked web-building and feeding activities. Afterward, teachers rated student interest in science between 4.6 and 4.8 (with 5=very interested). During the second expedition, student butterfly tracking went viral on social media such as Twitter and YouTube. Hands-on space-related experiments are clearly effective in increasing enthusiasm for science.
 



The following content was provided by Nancy P. Moreno, Ph.D., Chip Taylor, Ken Werner, Louis S. Stodieck, Ph.D., Mary Ann Hamilton, Paula Cushing, Ph.D., Mark Stowe, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.

Experiment Details

OpNom

Principal Investigator(s)

  • Nancy P. Moreno, Ph.D., Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, United States
  • Chip Taylor, Monarch Watch, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, United States
  • Ken Werner, Gulf Coast Butterflies, Naples, FL, United States
  • Louis S. Stodieck, Ph.D., University of Colorado, BioServe Space Technologies, Boulder, CO, United States
  • Mary Ann Hamilton, Butterfly Pavilion, Westminster, CO, United States
  • Paula Cushing, Ph.D., Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Denver, CO, United States
  • Mark Stowe, Gainesville, FL, United States

  • Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
    Information Pending
    Developer(s)
    University of Colorado at Boulder, BioServe Space Technologies, Boulder, CO, United States
    Partners:
    Baylor College of Medicine, Center for Education Outreach, Houston, TX, United States

    Butterfly Pavilion, Westminster, CO, United States

    Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Denver, CO, United States

    Monarch Watch, Lawrence, KS, United States

    National Space Biomedical Research Institute, Houston, TX, United States

    Sponsoring Space Agency
    National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

    Sponsoring Organization
    National Laboratory Education (NLE)

    Research Benefits
    Information Pending

    ISS Expedition Duration
    October 2008 - March 2010

    Expeditions Assigned
    18,21/22

    Previous ISS Missions
    Space Technology and Research Students (STARSTM), a similar investigation was performed on STS-93 and STS-107. CSI-01 was begun on ISS Expedition 14 and completed during ISS Expedition 15. CSI-02 was performed during ISS Expeditions 15 - 17. CSI-03 began operation during Expedition 18.

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    Experiment Description

    Research Overview

    • Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus Science Insert - 03 (CSI-03) is one in the series of CSI, an educational and science program designed to interest students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) by providing the opportunity for students to participate in near real-time research conducted on board the International Space Station (ISS).


    • Each experiment is designed to be easily reproducible in the classroom providing hands-on experience to the students.


    • CSI-03 will examine the complete life cycle of the Vanessa cardui, painted lady butterfly, (egg to butterfly) and the ability of older larvae of a Monarch butterfly species to metamorphosis.


    • Students will compare how the complete life cycle of the butterflies differ in space, when compared to butterflies on Earth. Students will observe the butterflies on Earth in their classrooms and compare them to imagery from the ISS.

    ISS Science Challenge Student Reflection

    ISS Science Challenge Selected Project
    This investigation was good for us because we learned so many things we didn't know before. Here are the things we learned: We learned that a painted lady butterfly is basically a Monarch butterfly. We also learned what a pupa is and it is like a cocoon. The most interesting thing we learned is how to work as a team and how to use each other's ideas together.
    - Andrea and Carlie, Grade 6, North Tama Elementary School, Traer, Iowa
     

    Description

    Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus Science Insert - 03 (CSI-03) is one investigation in the CSI program series. The CSI program provides the K-12 community opportunities to utilize the unique microgravity environment of the International Space Station as part of the regular classroom to encourage learning and interest in science, technology, engineering and math.

    CSI-03 involves several specific experiments, one will examine the complete life cycle of the Vanessa cardui, painted lady butterfly. Students will compare how the complete life cycle of the butterfly differs in space, when compared to butterflies used on Earth. The other experiment will examine the ability of an orb weaving spider to live in space. Students will compare how the spider differs in behavior, feeding and web spinning in microgravity when compared to the spiders on Earth. Another experiment will compare the ability of the older larvae of the Monarch butterfly to pupate in microgravity compared to pupation on Earth. The butterfly experiments will also compare the generalist species of butterfly larvae, painted lady butterfly, to a specialist species of butterfly larvae, Monarch butterfly.

    CSI-03 is conducted in the classroom in near real-time, or it can be utilized by teachers at any point during the school year after the space flight experiments are completed. Images and data from the space-based experiments are downlinked to the BioServe Payload Operations and Control Center (POCC) on a daily basis while the experiment is active. The downlinked visual data once received will be uplinked to the BioEd Online (http://www.bioedonline.org/) website. Participating teachers will be provided with a teacher's guide featuring background information, lesson plans, and student activities for conducting the project in their classrooms.

    • Scientific Objectives:
      • Complete one full life cycle of the painted lady butterfly in space.

      • Compare life cycle of the painted lady butterfly on Earth to the life cycle in the microgravity environment of space.

      • Compare the ability of Monarch butterfly larvae, a more specialist species when it comes to food, to pupate in space.

      • Examine pupation and emergence differences, processes that have specific behaviors influenced by gravity between space flight and ground controls of each butterfly species.

      • Compare the ability of an orb weaving spider to spin webs and catch food on the ground to its ability to perform the same tasks in the microgravity environment of space.

    • Education Goals:
      • Students will learn about the life cycle of the painted lady butterfly as well as the Monarch butterfly.

      • Students will learn about the behavior, web-building, and food-catching abilities of an orb spider.

      • Students will learn about microgravity and its implications for scientific research.

      • Students will conduct controlled experiments, practice humane animal-handling and experimental procedures, and compare their control experiment results to those obtained in the flight experiment.

      • Students will learn about space science research careers.

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    Applications

    Space Applications

    Results from CSI-03 may help scientists more clearly understand how different organisms are affected by the microgravity environment. CSI-03 influences children to continue their education in the science, technology engineering and math areas and pursue related careers.

    Earth Applications

    CSI-03 provides a unique educational opportunity to encourage and inspire students to pursue careers in the scientific and technical fields by participating in near real-time research activities on the ISS. This will promote education of the next generation of scientists, engineers, astronauts for the space program.

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    Operations

    Operational Requirements

    CSI-03 will operate in the CGBA under controlled temperature conditions and will require imaging and data download daily to BioServe's Payload Operations and Control Center.

    Operational Protocols

    CSI-03 will be transferred from the Space Shuttle to the ISS and placed inside a CGBA for activation. The hardware for the experiment has been automated to allow imagery of the experiments independent of crew. The ISS crew will implement a procedure to activate CSI-03 on orbit. The ISS crew will also manipulate different feeding components of the hardware to allow fresh food or drink to be exposed for the organisms at a set point in the mission. BioServe will be able to monitor all experiments via data and image downlink. The research will be contained inside the spider and butterfly habitats.

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    Results/More Information

    CSI-03 investigated the growth and behavior of spiders and butterflies on board the ISS during expeditions 18 and 21/22. The experiments were designed to engage students in authentic science investigations and increase their interest in STEM academic areas. During expedition 18, CSI-03 involved more than 1,800 students comparing two orb-weaver spiders and six painted lady butterflies living on ISS to similar organisms living in ground-based habitats in classrooms. During Expedition 21/22, approximately 180,000 students from all 50 states and 23 countries were able to observe four vanessa cardui (painted lady) butterflies aboard ISS.

    During expedition 18, the butterflies did not successfully pupate into adults due to food problems. The orb-weaver spiders however thrived in this environment. Students were able to track their web building and feeding activities throughout the expedition. This experiment was successful and laid the groundwork for future similar experiments to engage students. Following the completion of expedition 18, teachers evaluated their students’ interest by rating them in a range between 1 (not very interested) and 5 (very interested). The overall averages ranged between 4.6 and 4.8. CSI-03 allowed students to formulate their own questions and become personally involved in the science. Teachers also reported that 80% of students expressed interest in science careers following completion of the investigation.

    On expedition 21/22, CSI-03 allowed students to track morphological, behavioral and developmental differences from their own in-class butterflies to those aboard the ISS real-time. This experiment was highly publicized by several different media sources including social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. In an online response survey, teachers noted that 67% of students downloaded images, 50% of students raised butterflies, 42% of students analyzed images from space, and 33% of students asked their own research questions. CSI-03 demonstrated that engaging students with hands-on scientific experiments is effective in increasing conceptual understandings and enthusiasm for science. Following CSI-03, additional space-based missions featuring spiders and plants have been performed involving thousands of students. CSI-03 has produced a model that is highly replicable and likely to appeal to a broad range of students by actively engaging them with interesting scientific topics (Moreno 2012).

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    Results Publications

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    Ground Based Results Publications

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    ISS Patents

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    Related Publications

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    Related Websites
    Monarch Butterflies -- Video
    Butterfly Pavilion
    BioEd Online
    BioServe Space Technologies
    Denver Museum of Natural Science
    Gulf Coast Butterflies
    NIH BioMed-ISS Meeting Video Presentation, 2009—CSI-03
    NIH BioMed-ISS Meeting, 2009—CSI-03
    National Space Biomedical Research Institute: Butterflies in Space
    Monarch Caterpillars on YouTube
    Painted Lady Caterpillars on YouTube

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    Imagery

    image Vanessa cardui, Painted Lady Butterfly, Adult form of the butterfly larvae (catepillars) in use for the CSI-03 investigation on the ISS. Image courtesy of Jeffrey Pippen.(http://www.duke.edu/~jspippen/butterflies/paintedlady.htm).
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    image Adult Monarch Butterfly, similar to the butterfly larvae scheduled for use in the CSI-03 investigation on the ISS. Image courtesy of Marty N. Davis (http://www.monarchwatch.org/gallery/photo/ad1.htm).
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    image Orb weaving spider with web in CSI-03 habitat onboard the International Space Station during ISS Expedition 18. Image courtesy of BioServe Space Technologies, Boulder, CO.
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    image Vanessa cardui, Painted Lady, butterflies in the CSI-03 habitat onboard the International Space Station during ISS Expedition 21/22. Image courtesy of BioServe Space Technologies, Boulder, CO.
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    image Monarch butterflies in the CSI-03 habitat onboard the International Space Station during ISS Expedition 21/22. Image courtesy of BioServe Space Technologies, Boulder, CO.
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    image NASA Image: ISS021E029873 - Canadian Space Agency astronaut Robert Thirsk, Expedition 21 flight engineer, works with the new Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus (CGBA) Science Insert 03 (CSI-03) assembly in the Kibo laboratory of the International Space Station.
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    image Edinburg, Texas, students examining butterflies in their classroom at South Texas Preparatory Academy. Image courtesy The Monitor.
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    image Student observations of painted lady butterfly larvae from Rodriguez Elementary School, Houston, TX. Photo credit: Delinda Mock, BCM.
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    image Students make observations of live painted lady butterfly larvae at Rodriguez Elementary School, Houston, TX. Photo credit: Delinda Mock, BCM.
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    image Seventh grade student Jessica Hawkins (right) displays here Spiders in Space project poster with her teacher Tanya Griego, Aurora Hills Middle School, Aurora, CO. Ms. Hawkins presented her award-winning poster at the 2009 American Arachnological Society meeting. Photo courtesy of Ms. Griego.
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