A blob, a curious creature that is neither an animal, nor a plant, nor a fungus, will be cultivated on the International Space Station, under the watchful eye of astronaut Thomas Pasket.
Composed of a single cell, the “fisarum polycephalum”, commonly called the blob, is a separate living species: without the mouth or brain, it eats, moves, and has amazing learning abilities.
Several samples will be hosted at the Space Station (ISS). The goal is “if the blob behaves differently in space”, and to study “the effects of microgravity and radiation on its evolution”, details the French space agency CNES.
As part of its “Alpha” mission, French astronaut Thomas Pesquet, who is scheduled to fly to the ISS on 22 April, will be responsible for “waking it up” and photographing its development according to two protocols: ” One test will approach two drops in a food-free environment, the other will provide two other drops with multiple sources of food.
CNES and CNRS invited 2,000 schools, colleges and high schools to join this “educational experience” and to “compare their results with the results achieved” in the classroom. In orbits as the station, drops will be delivered in the event of “sclerotia”, which is to say sterilized before being dehydrated to complete the experiments.