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Waspie_Dwarf

Ants in Space

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Space Station Live: Ants in Space

NASA Public Affairs Officer Dan Huot talks with Professor Deborah M. Gordon of Stanford University, who is the principal investigator for the Ants in Space experiment aboard the International Space Station. This experiment arrived at the space station Sunday aboard Orbital Sciences' Cygnus cargo spacecraft.

The Ants in Space study examines the behavior of ants by comparing groups living on Earth to those in space. The idea is that ant interactions are dependent upon the number of ants in an area. Measuring these interactions may be important in determining behavior of ants in groups. This insight may add to existing knowledge of swarm intelligence, or how the complex behavior of a group is influenced by the actions of individuals. Developing a better understanding of swarm intelligence may lead to more refined mathematical procedures for solving complex problems, like routing trucks, scheduling airlines or telecommunications efficiency.

Credit: NASA

Source: NASA - Multimedia

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So why exactly do these Ants need to be in a microgravity environment if their interactions are dependent on Ant numbers? Where is the corollary with ants on Earth?

Edited by keithisco

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This is waste of taxpayers money.They spend billions on ISS and to keep it operational and do this kind of work?

I read by space activist that having a space station can lead to better research and treatment with cancer and diseases. So why are they not doing that?

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This is waste of taxpayers money.They spend billions on ISS and to keep it operational and do this kind of work?

I read by space activist that having a space station can lead to better research and treatment with cancer and diseases. So why are they not doing that?

They are doing that.

Do you really think that this is the ONLY thing they are doing on board the station?

There are dozens of different experiments going on at any given time in many different scientific disciplines.

This particular experiment is partly educational. It was suggested by school children. Part of NASA's remit is education, this experiment will help educate kids in science and scientific methodology, whilst maybe learning something new in the field of biology at the same time

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