Feeds

Germans to blast fish into space

Piscine zero-grav white-knuckle ride

Intelligent flash storage arrays

German scientists will today blast 60 baby cichlid fish 260km into space aboard a two-stage rocket to see how the poor blighters react to six minutes of weightlessness.

The piscine guinea pigs will lift off from Sweden's Esrange Space Centre on the 11-metre Texus vessel, Reuters reports. Some will be subjected to a "pure zero G state", while others will enjoy the trip in a slowly-turning centrifuge.

Experimenters Reinhard Hilbig and Ralf Anken of the University of Stuttgart-Hohenheim will later examine video footage of the fish in flight, and probe their "small balance organs", aka otoliths, to see just how the voyagers coped with their adventure.

Esrange Space Centre project manager, Tomas Hedqvist, explained: "Fish, when they get motion sick, begin tumbling around, swimming in circles and miss their balance. People when they are aboard the space shuttle they have this space motion sickness also. Human beings have blood pressure up in the head when they are weightless and also bones get weak and muscles get small.

"They use fish since it's much easier to investigate on fish [than] human beings."

Scientists have previously dispatched fish on parabolic plane rides, but the 20-30 seconds of weightlessness these offer have have proved "too short for clear conclusions", Hedqvist noted. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.