Humans always want and are constantly trying to be able to live in space. Many animals and even humans have been launched into space. There are even species that can reproduce outside the Earth’s atmosphere. That’s 2,487 jellyfish from a hugely successful NASA mission that launched in 1991.
As part of NASA’s first Spacelab Life Sciences Mission (SLS-1), which launched in 1991, 2,487 jellyfish were packed in seawater bags and launched into space aboard the space shuttle Columbia.
The survey results were surprising, after more than half a month of flying around the Earth, 2,487 jellyfish have spawned up to more than 60,000 – the fertility is significantly increased compared to when on Earth.
The scientists then raised new hopes and were about to use the same method to test the fertility of other aquatic species in space. Going further, they hope humans can also breed in space, making the universe a permanent habitable place.
However, before this could be realized, scientists in the project realized something unusual, space jellyfish are completely unfamiliar with Earth’s magnetic field. All of them were unable to swim when brought back to Earth, lost their sense of orientation, could only stick their heads in the ground, staggered, and were much more difficult than their Earth-born relatives.
Inside a common jellyfish, there are many receptors for magnetic fields (graviceptors) in the form of calcium sulfate crystals, which are kept in vesicles with sensitive hair cells. When a jellyfish changes direction, crystals of calcium sulfate dive to the bottom of the vesicles and signal the hair cells in which direction to go. The researchers noticed that the space jellyfish’s magnetic field receptor looked normal, but didn’t work. To date, scientists have not been able to explain this.
Humans also have a fluid in the inner ear that functions similar to the jellyfish’s magnetic field receptors. Therefore, it is likely that humans raised in a zero-gravity environment will not be able to move normally when they return to Earth.
In 2007, Jeffrey Alberts in a study with NASA discovered that baby mice born in space cannot turn over on their own, they lie on their backs even when underwater. However, this condition does not last forever, normal sense of gravity also gradually restored over time.
Scientists will need more research before they can conclude how growing up in space affects people. But it can be easily realized, growing up in a microgravity environment must be very “weird”.