Saturday, February 23, 2008

Houston, the "Fins" have landed......

"They were very happy, I think they want to have another flight," stated Professor Reinhard Hilbig.

On Thursday, it wasn't the "Fins" that took to flight but a small group of Germans from a launch pad in northern Sweden. German researchers sent them on a ten minute rocket ride to study the effects of weightlessness on the group of seventy-two during that short flight.

Hilbig stated that the German team hoped the experiment could explain why some people experience motion sickness and others do not in similar situations. To find that answer, the thumbnail-sized cichlids were chosen for the space flight. He added that the mechanisms for motion sickness are similar in fish and humans.

The cichlids were filmed as they swam around weightless in small aquariums during the unmanned space flight. The researchers will now study that film to find if any of the fish swam around in circles during the flight, since that is what they do when they experience motion sickness.

The fish all landed safely and appear to be in good health. Cichlids were chosen since they believed that they would have the best chance to survive the stress of the space flight. Goldfish it was explained, are a bit too messy and fat to have been good candidates for the short mission in space.

I am not sure though.... would the messy part come from their collision with the sides of the tanks from G-forces and has it been proven that they circle from the motion sickness or from their search for a fish sized barf bag?

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