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Experiment, Artificial Gravity, Kosmos 936


Display Status:

This object is on display in the Space Science exhibition at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

Collection Item Summary:

This is an experimental block that an international team of scientists used to test the effects of artificial gravity on rats. On August 3, 1977, the USSR launched the satellite, Kosmos 936, also know as Bion 4, into orbit from the Pletsesk Cosmondrome. On board the spacecraft were thirty laboratory rats. Of the rats, twenty remained weightless, while ten experienced the equivalent of normal gravitational forces through the rotation of this unit. The purpose of the experiment was to determine whether those rats who were weightless and those who were in units like this showed any differences in bone mass after 19 days in orbit. Scientists concluded that although there were differences in bone mass between the rats that experienced weightlessness and those who did not, but the greatest differences in bone density was between those rats that flew in orbit and the control group on Earth.

The Soviet Institute for Biomedical Problems donated this unit to the Museum in 1979.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum


Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum

Credit Line

Gift of USSR Ministry of Health Institute for Biomedical Problems


aluminum case with wires. Rat preserved by taxidermy included inside.


Overall: 1 ft. 6 in. tall x 2 ft. 2 1/2 in. wide x 2 ft. 2 1/2 in. deep (45.72 x 67.31 x 67.31cm)

Country of Origin



SPACECRAFT-Unmanned-Instruments & Payloads

Inventory Number