Scientists Are Sending Fleas To The International Space Station

When June's Mission Discovery rocket heads to the International Space Station it's going to be carrying a rather unusual group of passengers.

The rocket will contain, among other things, a large sample of Daphnia or 'Water Fleas'. These tiny creatures will be travelling on a one way trip to the ISS where they'll be closely studied in the hopes of better understanding the effects that being in space will have on biological matter.

Daphnia make exceptional scientific subjects and are often used to measure basic biological effects. With transparent bodies and a fairly simple biological design these crustaceans can be easily examined.

The experiment has been organised by University of Birmingham, Kings College London and the International Space School Education Trust as part of a competition which saw school children around the country come up with ideas that perhaps scientists might not have initially have thought of.