In an effort to study behavioral adaptation to space, researchers report the first analysis of mice flown in the NASA Rodent Habitat to the International Space Station, published on April 11 in Scientific Reports.

All 20 mice survived their missions, but the scientists observed that younger mice were initially more active during the flight. After several days in space, the whole group of mice started to move in circular patterns. This “race-tracking” behavior could be due to the type of housing and the effect of weightlessness, the authors report.

A.E. Ronca et al., “Behavior of mice aboard the International Space Station,” Scientific Reports, doi:10.1038/s41598-019-40789-y, 2019.

Video footage captured during mice’s space flight

Interested in reading more?

space NASA mice behavior experiment ISS

The Scientist ARCHIVES

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?