Collection Item Summary:
This spider is from an experiment flown aboard Skylab, a space station launched into Earth orbit by the United States in May 1973. Scientists and students interested in the growth, development, behavior, and adaptation of organisms in weightlessness provided a variety of biology experiments for flight in the orbital research laboratory. A common Cross spider, "Anita" participated in a web formation experiment suggested by a high school student. The experiment was carried out on the Skylab 3 mission, which lasted 59 days from July 28-September 25, 1973. Astronauts Alan Bean, Jack Lousma, and Owen Garriott carried out the scientific research in space, reported the results, and returned this specimen at the end of their mission. NASA then sent Anita, a companion spider "Arabella," and the experiment equipment to the Museum.