When YouTube Space Lab launched a competition calling for experiments to be conducted aboard the International Space Station, thousands of high school students around the world responded. The two winning experiments will be performed live Thursday at 7:30am PDT / 9:30am CDT / 10:30am EDT / 3:30pm BST / 4:30pm CEST. Back on Earth, we can watch astronaut Sunita Williams live in the microgravity capsule as she puts the experiments to the test.
Students submitted short videos explaining the scientific experiments they hoped to see tested aboard the space station. One of the winning proposals, from Amr Mohamed of Egypt, asks whether zebra spiders, which jump on their prey, will be able to catch their food in their usual way in microgravity. The other experiment, from Dorothy Chen and Sara Ma of Michigan, asks whether the growth of bacteria delivered into space will slow down when certain compounds are added.
YouTube viewers helped choose the winners from a pool of six semi-finalists. Then materials needed to conduct the two winning experiments were packed into a rocket and sent up to the space station, 250 miles above the Earth.
Watch live as Williams observes bacteria and hungry zebra spiders in microgravity. Will the spiders figure out a new way to hunt?
Kate Rix is a freelance writer in Oakland. See more of her work at katerixwriter.com.