U.S.S. Arabella - Intrepid Class II

Started by Geekyfanboy, March 23, 2008, 08:43:05 AM

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The Tiberius was a war ship... a handsome name that reflected strength and power. The name "Arabella" is not only a beautiful name for a beautiful ship of exploration, it was named in honor of the spirit of curiosity.

Arabella and Anita were  NASA's first eight-legged astronauts and they played a vital part in increasing our knowledge of space. They got their mission because a high-school student named Judy Miles wondered if spiders could spin webs in a weightless environment. She suggested sending spiders into space to find out. NASA space scientists liked her proposal and went to work designing special cages, lights, and cameras.

On August 5, 1973, Arabella and Anita blasted off into space on Skylab II. On her first day in orbit, Arabella didn't do well. She spun sloppy webs and obviously felt the effects of weightlessness. However, by her third day in space, she was spinning just as though she were back at home yet her webs were finer in space.

The source of this story is the book Odd Tales from the Smithsonian (Smithsonian Institution Press, 1986), written by Peggy Thomson and Edwards Park.
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