A spider is running amuck aboard the International Space Station although NASA denies any arachnid wrongdoings.
According to a news article over on FOXNews, two orb weaver spiders were actually launched into space last Friday as part of a science experiment aimed towards earth-bound students between grades K-12. The lovely couple was accompanied by painted lady butterfly larvae, with the sole intention for students to compare both insect species living in weightlessness to identical insects found on Earth. For the butterflies, students are to compare the life cycles; for the spiders, students are to study how they weave webs without gravity.
Astronauts checked out the spiders Monday and reported that the spun webs were more of a tangled mess than the symmetrical versions earthlings are accustomed to walking into. "The web was more or less three-dimensional and it looked like it was all over the inside of the spider hab," said NASA astronaut Sandra Magnus, the space station’s science officer. "We took some pictures of it, so hopefully they will turn out."
In other words, it was more like a tangled, disorganized mess.
However, it seems one of the spiders, having grown irritated with its habitat, broke free and is nowhere to be seen. No doubt the poor spider is having artistic troubles and is looking for a good place to drown its sorrows.
According to the space station’s flight director, they’re not really "missing" the spider at all, and thus the explanation gets a little strange. "The way it was explained to me, he came out of his bedroom and may be into the living room of the house." NASA event confirmed that the arachnid hasn’t "gone amuck" even though no one knows were the insect really is or how it escaped its frigid prison in the first place.
Kirk Shireman, NASA’s deputy station program manager, seems pretty confident that they’ll uncover the spider eventually. "I’m sure we’ll find him spinning a web sometime here in the next few days."
Yeah, buddy. We’ve played Doom 3, we’ve watched sci-fi movies. We know what spiders holed up in space are capable of.