Leal School Monarchs-In-Space-Project

Browsing Archive: November, 2009

The space shuttle lands safely (Friday, Nov 26)

Posted by Marianne Alleyne on Friday, November 27, 2009,
My family and I took a break from the usual Thanksgiving-weekend activities (which mostly involve sleep, food, relaxation and some more food) to watch the Space Shuttle's return to earth.  It is still amazing to me that this "plane" that went into space is able to land back on earth. 



The crew is happy to be back.  Especially Nicole Stott, who had been at the ISS for a few months.  This is what the pilot had to say: "After being asked if there were any memories that stood out, Pilot Barry E. ...
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Amazing, the caterpillars in space pupated (Thursday, Nov 26)

Posted by Marianne Alleyne on Thursday, November 26, 2009,


Yesterday the caterpillars in space pupated.  You can see the pictures here.  The most recent pictures are first and then if you scroll back you can see in reverse how quickly they did it (a picture is taken every half an hour)

On earth, monarch caterpillars find a place to hang from.  They attach to a branch or leaf while upside down and then start making their chrysalis (their body is in a j-shape). 



It looks like the space caterpillars did a similar thing.  They did not care about not being...
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Growing, growing, growing.... (Tuesday November 24th)

Posted by Marianne Alleyne on Tuesday, November 24, 2009,
Caterpillars on earth and in space are growing very big.  To see the latest pictures check out the picture gallery.

And on NPR (earth and sky) there was a nice interview with one of the scientists running our sister-program that sent Painted Lady Butterflies to space.  The Painted Lady and Monarch habitats are right next to each other on the space station (see picture)




To listen to the interview click on this link:
http://www.earthsky.org/interviewpost/biodiversity/nancy-moreno-follows-butterfli...
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Sunday in Space: Relax and Celebrate (Sun Nov 22)

Posted by Marianne Alleyne on Sunday, November 22, 2009,
I was getting a little worried.  We had not seen any pictures of the caterpillars in space for a few days.  I was wondering if they were behind those false alarms on the space-shuttle - maybe they were trying to trick NASA and pulled/pushed the alarm...probably not.

But today some new pictures of the caterpillars were posted, and the guys look HUGE. 

Here is a picture of the one caterpillar I still have at my house (the ones in your classrooms may be bigger)



and one of the caterpillars in spac...
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Do you have a strict bedtime? As strict as the astronauts? (Nov 20)

Posted by Marianne Alleyne on Saturday, November 21, 2009,
This interesting bit was posted as "the latest news" on the NASA website:

STS-129 Mission Specialists Mike Foreman and Randy Bresnik, set to perform the second spacewalk of the mission Saturday, are spending the night in the Quest airlock as part of the overnight “campout” procedure that helps purge nitrogen from their bloodstreams, preventing decompression sickness once they move out into the vacuum of space.
The International Space Station crew is scheduled to go to sleep at 6:58 p.m. EST...

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First Video of Caterpillars (Thursday Nov 19)

Posted by Marianne Alleyne on Friday, November 20, 2009,
If you want to see what caterpillars do all day when in space check out this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KCtPMFzlpM

If you were living in the International Space Station what would you do to amuse yourself? 

M

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All three caterpillars alive and well on the space station (Wed Nov 18)

Posted by Marianne Alleyne on Thursday, November 19, 2009,
Yep, all three caterpillars are thriving.  You can see pictures of them here.

http://monarchwatch.smugmug.com/Monarchs-in-Space/Monarchs-on-the-Space-Station/10305636_wwEsm#717590325_TFsWE

They look very healthy despite having been in the dark for about 2 days (from launch of Atlantis until the shuttle docked with the ISS)



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Nice Job!

Posted by Marianne Alleyne on Thursday, November 19, 2009,
Students from Mr. Huff's class did a very nice job explaining the experiment to a reporter from the WAND news.  The video can be seen on their page once I figure out how to download it.

M


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Leal's Monarch Project on TV (Tuesday November 17)

Posted by Marianne Alleyne on Wednesday, November 18, 2009,
Our project made it onto the WCIA news.  Click here to get to the video: http://illinoishomepage.net/content/video/?cid=118161

Also, stay tuned tomorrow.  That is when the shuttle will arrive at the ISS and deliver the caterpillars. 

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Caterpilars are orbiting the earth (Monday November 16)

Posted by Marianne Alleyne on Monday, November 16, 2009,
This is from the NASA website (with one or two of my own additions):

Space shuttle Atlantis, its crew of six astronauts and a few insects are headed for space, ready to begin their 11-day mission to the International Space Station. The climb to orbit took about 8 1/2 minutes.
Following a smooth countdown, with no technical issues and weather that steadily improved throughout the afternoon, the shuttle lifted off on time from Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 2:28 p.m....
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Ready for lift off? (Sunday November 15th)

Posted by Marianne Alleyne on Monday, November 16, 2009,
As I am writing this there are only 16 h, 25 min and 30 sec, no 29, no 28....to go until Atlantis' lift-off.  I think the caterpillars are already on board since fueling will start soon.  The caterpillars are somewhere at the tip of the shuttle.  They probably do not have much of a view since there are no windows there.  Actually, they are going to be pretty much in the dark for 2-3 days until they get to the International Space Station - their new home. 



Image above: As the sun sets behind L...
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We welcomed our monarch friends (Friday November 13)

Posted by Marianne Alleyne on Saturday, November 14, 2009,
Today was the day when I came to your classes to introduce the project to all of you.  I had a great time.  You all seemed very interested and eager to get started, and you had some great questions. 

Today was also the day that the monarch caterpillars arrived.  I've posted some pictures of their arrival below.



The caterpillars are still really smalll.  They are only in the third instar.  Soon they will molt into the fourth instar and become an eating machine.



The shipment also came with diet w...
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Getting ready for our new friends to arrive (Thursday November 12)

Posted by Marianne Alleyne on Friday, November 13, 2009,
I was getting worried, but late this afternoon I received word from UPS that the monarch caterpillars that will live in the Leal classrooms will arrive tomorrow.  The team in Kansas that started this project have been so overwhelmed by all the requests from classrooms all around the country that I was worried that they may have lost our request.  But if UPS says that they are on the way, then...

Today I have been busy with preparing the rearing cages for the caterpillars.  I sure hope I follow...
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Still Waiting...

Posted by Marianne Alleyne on Wednesday, November 11, 2009,
It is now Wednesday November 11th, 5 days until the launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis.  I hope we will receive the monarch larvae tomorrow or Friday so I can get them settled in their rearing cages and in your class-rooms.  I am pretty excited about this project, but also a little nervous.  But as a scientist I am used to this feeling.

I have to make sure that the Monarch larvae will be able to thrive. I have to make sure that you, the students, will be able to learn as much as possible from th...
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