The Russian-built Soyuz capsule will reach the International Space Station in October with three new crewmembers. Apart from the cosmonauts, 32 small fish will be reaching the orbiting outpost by the space shuttle Soyuz TMA-06M capsule. Medaka fish — a type of fish native toSoutheast Asia— are being carried to the space station for scientific experiment at the space lab.
NASA astronaut Kevin Ford and Russian cosmonauts Evgeny Tarelkin and Oleg Novitskiy will head to the Space Station with the fish. They are scheduled to launch to the International Space Station on October 15 and the launch would be made from the Baikonour Cosmodrome inKazakhstan.
The experiment is mainly aimed at investigating the effects of microgravity on fish. The fish would be made to stay in a special aquatic habitat. This special habitat is being delivered to the space station by a robotic Japanese cargo freighter, the unmanned H-2 Transfer Vehicle-3, or HTV-3 (which has already arrived at the space station on July 27).
Kevin Ford said that the experiment was essentially for osteoporosis. Julie Robinson, an International Space Station program scientist, explained that the study analyses how the skeletal systems of fish change in the near weightless environment of less or no gravity.