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Space Fish: ISS Aquatic Habitat Delivered By HTV-3

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the and-what's-this-fish-doing-in-my-ear dept.

ISS 68

astroengine writes "Yes, it's the moment we've all (secretly) been waiting for: Fish In Space! But before you go getting too excited and start asking the big questions — like: if there's a bubble in a microgravity aquarium, what happens if the fish falls into it? Let's ponder that for a minute... — it's worth pointing out that the fish aren't actually in space right now (their habitat has just been delivered to the space station by the unmanned Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle 'Kounotori 3') and this fishy experiment isn't just to see how fish enjoy swimming upside down, there's some serious science behind it."

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Looking forward to this one. (1)

CTU (1844100) | about 2 years ago | (#40803613)

I would love to learn more about how Fish can live in space and even what changes will need to be made for a tank to work in space. This is a new experament idea and one I am very interested in seeing explored and seeing how it turns out.

Re:Looking forward to this one. (4, Informative)

Truth is life (1184975) | about 2 years ago | (#40803685)

Not that new...this experiment is derived from one flown on the Shuttle a few times already. This is mostly an extension of the previous research. What I am really interested in is the egg-to-egg possibility--the system is designed to support up to three generations of fish, so they will be able to observe whether zero-gravity causes intergenerational changes (eg., whether the children of those born in zero-g are as fit as those born of one-g fish, or as one-g fish themselves). This is a significant challenge for any possibility of space colonization, so experimentation in it is quite welcome.

Re:Looking forward to this one. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40803711)

Not that new...

Moray Star Boats [alioth.net] - since 1984.

Re:Looking forward to this one. (4, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | about 2 years ago | (#40803747)

this experiment is derived from one flown on the Shuttle a few times already

In particular, goldfish [archive.org] and newts flew on STS-65 (1994). Not sure if complete life-cycle experiments have been done before. Some quick searching turns up this speculation [google.com] (Google Books preview) as of 2003 that fish will soon become the first vertebrate to live a complete life cycle in space.

Re:Looking forward to this one. (2)

ShoulderOfOrion (646118) | about 2 years ago | (#40805643)

Great. Goldfish and Newts. Pretty soon everyone will have flown in space except me.

Re:Looking forward to this one. (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | about 2 years ago | (#40809893)

That's how the government works. Everyone can get benefits except you.

Right side up (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40803785)

I'm just wondering if they'd all swim with the same side "up" or if some will swim upside down or sideways or up or some other obtuse orientation. Their swim bladders wouldn't know which way to stay "up".

Re:Right side up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40803945)

I'm just wondering if they'd all swim with the same side "up" or if some will swim upside down or sideways or up or some other obtuse orientation. Their swim bladders wouldn't know which way to stay "up".

Please define "up".

Captcha: oriented.

Re:Right side up (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40804085)

Please define "up".

Away from Earth's gravitational field.

Re:Right side up (5, Funny)

chandani (1044202) | about 2 years ago | (#40804569)

The enemy's gate is down.

Re:Looking forward to this one. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40805579)

We are going to be colonizing space in weightless environments?

I agree its interesting science, but I don't think it applies to colonization. If we were to "colonize" weightless environments, I am sure we'd implement "gravity". We know very well that long term weightless environmental living is detrimental. It would not be done in a long term, multi generational context as in "colonization."

Re:Looking forward to this one. (1)

slick7 (1703596) | about 2 years ago | (#40809843)

I would love to learn more about how Fish can live in space and even what changes will need to be made for a tank to work in space. This is a new experament idea and one I am very interested in seeing explored and seeing how it turns out.

I would love to learn more about how Fish can live in space and even what changes will need to be made for their tool using habits. Also, I would like to see their mathematical formulas postulating fish advancement in the 21st century. We'd be better off with pigs in space.

The ISS (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40803625)

Where all fish are flying fish.

Re:The ISS (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about 2 years ago | (#40804151)

Where all fish are flying fish.

Where a tuna can move at thousands of miles per hour. Think of the sushi.

Sashimi in space (2)

Genda (560240) | about 2 years ago | (#40803661)

p>I'm surprised the first post regarding a Japanese aquarium module didn't go straight to the obvious end involving sushi rice and ponzu sauce?

Re:Sashimi in space (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 years ago | (#40803809)

Didn't you read? It was delivered by the Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle "koipond".

Re:Sashimi in space (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40805311)

I figured they were gearing up to grow and harvest whales in space, where nobody can stop them.

My question is: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40803679)

If you took the fish out of the aquarium, would it be able to swim through the air? How fast? Could it steer?

Re:My question is: (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 2 years ago | (#40803733)

And how long would it survive trying to breath air?

Re:My question is: (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40803773)

And how long would it survive trying to breath air?

Long enough to answer the first three questions.

Re:My question is: (3, Interesting)

hvm2hvm (1208954) | about 2 years ago | (#40806727)

How about dolphins for example? They might be able to live normally in space

Re:My question is: (1)

Defenestrar (1773808) | about 2 years ago | (#40816627)

Wait, this [wikipedia.org] wasn't a historical account?

Re:My question is: (1)

flimflammer (956759) | about 2 years ago | (#40804037)

Probably comically long enough to hit all the explode space station buttons as it flails around uncontrollably.

Re:My question is: (1)

Dr Herbert West (1357769) | about 2 years ago | (#40804263)

Maybe not long enough to learn that the correct usage is "breathe".

And what kind of dumbass thinks that zero-g would enable a fish to "swim" thru air? Is zero-g going to increase the resistance of the air enough to...
ah nevermind. Somedays it doesn't pay to get out of bed.

Re:My question is: (1)

ridley4 (1535661) | about 2 years ago | (#40804837)

[...W]hat kind of dumbass thinks that zero-g would enable a fish to "swim" thru air?

The same kind of dumbass that considers that impulse is impulse, regardless of it's under 0G, 1G, or 42G of gravitational pull.

What microgravity doesn't do is make air thicker, but what microgravity /does/ do is make mass just mass, and not weight.

Which means a fish could indeed, swim in air. In the absence of gravity to hold things down, one could simply flap their arms in the air to propel themselves forward, if slowly.

Likewise, so could a fish flap its fins and propel itself slowly through air, in the absence of gravity to cancel out the tiny force imparted on flapping fins against air.

Re:My question is: (1)

Anenome (1250374) | about 2 years ago | (#40809447)

"Likewise, so could a fish flap its fins and propel itself slowly through air, in the absence of gravity to cancel out the tiny force imparted on flapping fins against air."

However, fish are used to flapping against water, something with far more mass. It's likely that should they find themselves in air they'd rapidly flop around and achieve virtually no propulsion at all.

Re:My question is: (2)

Immerman (2627577) | about 2 years ago | (#40811009)

Flopping requires something to flop *against*. On earth fish "flop" because their propulsion is insufficient to fight gravity in the absence of water's buoyancy. In microgravity buoyancy is not an issue so all their control surfaces will work more-or-less normally in air (sans viscosity effects), just to less effect. Take something like a lungfish or whale that wouldn't suffocate in air and they could probably maneuver adequately once they acclimated to the dramatically slower response times.

Heck, equip them with large, low-mass fin extensions and they'd probably be able to maneuver a LOT better than humans who never evolved to navigate in a fluid environment.

Re:My question is: (1)

psydeshow (154300) | about 2 years ago | (#40820609)

Take something like a lungfish or whale that wouldn't suffocate in air and they could probably maneuver adequately once they acclimated to the dramatically slower response times.

Heck, equip them with large, low-mass fin extensions and they'd probably be able to maneuver a LOT better than humans who never evolved to navigate in a fluid environment.

Oh yes, do please apply for a research grant for this.

Forget segways and monorails. I plan on zipping around my future space station home on a bionically-enhanced dolphin!

Re:My question is: (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 2 years ago | (#40805249)

Maybe not long enough to learn that the correct usage is "breathe".

I guess I deserved that. I'm a little pedantic myself sometimes.

Re:My question is: (1)

cffrost (885375) | about 2 years ago | (#40805905)

[W]hat kind of dumbass thinks that zero-g would enable a fish to "swim" thru air? Is zero-g going to increase the resistance of the air enough to...
ah nevermind. Somedays it doesn't pay to get out of bed.

If that half-sentence is the best refutation you can shit out, then please, "Dr," just stay in bed.

Re:My question is: (2)

Teresita (982888) | about 2 years ago | (#40804581)

I for one welcome our new goldfish overlords.

Re:My question is: (1)

benjamindees (441808) | about 2 years ago | (#40805151)

If you took the fish out of the aquarium, would it be able to swim through the air? How fast? Could it steer?

I think we all know the technology we need [lulzimg.com] to answer these important questions. Let's get to work.

And then... (3, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 2 years ago | (#40803687)

Sure. Now it's just regular fish. Next it will be sharks, then sharks with lasers. It will be all fun and games until someone loses an eye.

Re:And then... (2)

SeaFox (739806) | about 2 years ago | (#40803929)

Sure. Now it's just regular fish. Next it will be sharks, then sharks with lasers. It will be all fun and games until someone loses an eye.

Lasers in space? Sounds like the plot of a movie.
Is that actor Ronald Regan still available?

Re:And then... (4, Funny)

oobayly (1056050) | about 2 years ago | (#40804299)

Is that actor Ronald Regan still available?

Nope, apparently he got some kind of management job instead.

Re:And then... (1)

jamesh (87723) | about 2 years ago | (#40805163)

Sure. Now it's just regular fish. Next it will be sharks, then sharks with lasers. It will be all fun and games until someone loses an eye.

These are _sharks_ we're talking about here. Not just angry sea bass. These lasers will be big. It will be all fun and games until someone loses a _head_

Re:And then... (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 2 years ago | (#40806063)

The minon with an eyepatch is explained!

Sounds. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40803689)

Sound should be able to push bubbles around to prevent build-up of large bubbles.
The only problem then would be the fish spazzing out at the sound waves.
So grid to constantly cycle the water around in a twist to eliminate will probably be the other solution.

Their solution sounds similar to the latter, but obviously far more complex than my simple example.
I expected a sphere over a cuboid. Or even a cone. But hey, I am just guessing. They likely done hundreds of simulations to get the right system with the most space.

Good luck to the experiment. Shall be interesting.

Re:Sounds. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40804173)

Send up Bettas, and they'll be manipulating bubbles themselves.

Re:Sounds. (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 2 years ago | (#40804439)

The problem is, constant high levels of sound are harmful to fish.

Re:Sounds. (1)

beckett (27524) | about 2 years ago | (#40806203)

source? i'm actually interested, not calling you out.

Re:Sounds. (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | about 2 years ago | (#40806349)

Right in the pet store it says, "Do not tap on glass"

What'll be the name of the fish? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40803707)

Livingston?

http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Livingston

Aquaculture and hydroponics (4, Interesting)

j-stroy (640921) | about 2 years ago | (#40803739)

Aquatic critters can be one link in a combined waste treatment / hydro-ponic growing system. I've heard that a cubic meter of sea water is the most prolific growing medium on earth. I'm interested in the downstream outcomes of science like this.

Also am reminded of an old pulp sc-fi short story that took the form of letters between a Mars bio-dome colonist and the manufacturer of the living bio dome system... they kept adding critters to the dome to try and balance the eco-system, with predictable and silly results.

Re:Aquaculture and hydroponics (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40803821)

I always remember what one of my biology professors said about these sort of biodome experiments: "life finds a way to live, unless it doesn't but either way, there is only one way to find out." What he meant was that those experiments should go on until they are so unbalanced that they threaten the human occupants with imminent death, but those without human occupants should be allowed to run until everything dies. The reason is that nature can surprise you with the way things adapt and you often learn the most when the pressures are the highest or fall apart.

Re:Aquaculture and hydroponics (2)

jamesh (87723) | about 2 years ago | (#40805169)

Also am reminded of an old pulp sc-fi short story that took the form of letters between a Mars bio-dome colonist and the manufacturer of the living bio dome system... they kept adding critters to the dome to try and balance the eco-system, with predictable and silly results.

Sounds like an interesting story... got any more info? Like a title, or something to google? I tried googling a few keywords but just found your post...

Re:Aquaculture and hydroponics (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40808481)

I don't remember the author.. it would have been in an "Asimov" or "Analog" and I think I read it in an anthology too. The decayed plant matter in the habitat is making it a little funky, so after what begins as a polite correspondence with the support rep.. the lone colonist is told to add mushroom spores and as the situation deteriorates further, beetles (to eat the mushrooms), birds, a cat, a predatory hawk, a miniature deer and so on.. the tone of the letters gets increasingly manic as the habitat fauna becomes increasingly dynamic. I tried googling too.. couldn't find it, but have you tried "Bears Discover Fire?" [powweb.com] and the short "They're made out of meat".

they'll look like this (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40803753)

seamonkeys [webs.com]

Technically, electric force is my lover, not Rosie (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 years ago | (#40803783)

Let the supernerdage commence!

"Well, technically you're not weightless -- you're microbouyed in microgravity."

The next step (4, Interesting)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 2 years ago | (#40803799)

I hope that the next step after this is taking a cat into space in a properly-designed cage. (You don't want it loose!) Make sure that at least part of the cage is lined with something that the cat can grip so that it has the choice between clinging to the side of the cage and moving around in the inside and see how it adapts. Yes, I know that waste disposal will be a problem, but it's one that we'll have to solve sooner or later anyway.

Re:The next step (2)

Trepidity (597) | about 2 years ago | (#40803913)

There've been other mammals in space before, though not cats. The third Spacelab mission [wikipedia.org] (1985) took two monkeys and 24 rats in cages up.

Re:The next step (3, Funny)

Jarik C-Bol (894741) | about 2 years ago | (#40804179)

I get the feeling that a cat in space would turn into a really sharp infinitely reorienting ball of fury in the middle of the room.

Re:The next step (1)

Ambvai (1106941) | about 2 years ago | (#40804593)

As may be simulated planetside by strapping a piece of buttered toast to the back of a cat...

Re:The next step (1)

Megane (129182) | about 2 years ago | (#40805711)

I think it would be a good idea to try cats on the Vomit Comet first. That way they're not stuck with them for three months if cats and space just don't mix.

Re:The next step (3, Interesting)

Y-Crate (540566) | about 2 years ago | (#40806303)

Cats in zero G? It's been done [youtube.com] .

I imagine the ISS would be shredded all the way to the cold, dead vacuum of space about an hour after the arrival of the first catstronaut.

Re:The next step (4, Funny)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 2 years ago | (#40804245)

Experiment k9V2C47:

Place one average sized dog in space with 0 velocity. Place one average sized house cat in space with 0 velocity, 3 meters apart from dog. Observe results.

Re:The next step (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40805399)

Can this be on PPV?

Re:The next step (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40805593)

Red Dawn .... been there, done that

waiting those three million years might be an issue though ...

What about dolphins too (1)

oobayly (1056050) | about 2 years ago | (#40804315)

So long and thanks for all the ... fish.

I was wondering... (1)

DaveAtFraud (460127) | about 2 years ago | (#40804421)

I was wondering if they were babblefish.

Cheers,
Dave

Fishcam feed? (2)

wisebabo (638845) | about 2 years ago | (#40804317)

TFA says there is a webcam. Anyone know if there will be a way for us not on NASA's payroll to watch?

bubbles aren't the real problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40804535)

If you're worried about bubbles, then you probably don't understand the real problem: Fish remove dissolved oxygen and add carbon dioxide. On Earth, co2 finds its way to the surface of the water and mixes with regular air. In space, if you haven't solved the problem of getting dissolved co2 and fish poop out of the water, then you're just going to end up with a bunch of dead fish.

The simplest solution is to set up a one-inlet, one-outlet filtration system: Fresh water and fish food comes in with nice fresh dissolved oxygen; dirty water goes out with fish droppings and nasty stale dissolved co2. Any bubbles that make it into this closed loop will move towards the exit at the same speed as the water flow, so the key is to make sure that you don't introduce any "really large" bubbles. That's easy.

STS-61-C (0)

fermion (181285) | about 2 years ago | (#40805721)

Just for clarification, we have hardly been waiting for fish in space. Some of us saw them way back when. Getaway Special Payload G332 included the study of brine shrimp. This was a project from the a little high school in Houston called Booker T. Washington. In was developed in the early 80's and flew 1986. Colombia no less, and the last flight before Challenger.

Changes Search for Life Parameters (1)

retroworks (652802) | about 2 years ago | (#40806427)

On the tails of last year's discovery of "ocean like" water in comets [http://io9.com/5847004/comet-discovered-with-ocean+like-water-inside-of-it], this is a logical step. Should we not be looking for "habitable planets" but "habitable orbits"? Which, I suppose, would make every solar system habitable that had either a potentially deflected comet or a budget for fish aquariums ?

Hooooray ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40806963)

The first generation of goldfish to end-up in a space toilet ! This is one small fin for Goldy - one giant leap for Goldy-kind !

new propulsion system (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40807553)

maybe if they align the axis of the aquarium parallel to the axis of the moving spacestation, the 'lil fish can push the ISS into a higher orbit?

Another Hollywood Cross over in the making! (1)

Dabido (802599) | about 2 years ago | (#40816229)

Alien Versus Predator Versus Jaws

HOW? (1)

scorp1us (235526) | about 2 years ago | (#40817061)

On Earth, it's relatively simple to maintain an aquarium. In space... I hae no idea.
Aquariums use several things:
-Filters (impeller based canister filter will work in space.)
-bubblers for dissolved gases.
-food

The biggest question for me, is how do you get good gasses in (O2, CO2 if a planted aqurium) and bad gasses out of the aquarium. On earth, the gasses interact with the surface. In space there is no surface. You can't just pump more gasses in without raising the pressure. What do you do with ammonia and water changes? How do you get a dead fish out? You can't open the aquarium?

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