WMFE is Central Florida's primary provider of NPR programming on 90.7 FM and Classical Music on 90.7 HD2. Part of the community since 1965, WMFE focuses on providing quality national and local news and programming. We inspire and empower all Central Floridians to discover, grow and engage within and beyond their world.
CLOSEOpt Out: I already like WMFE!

Like us on Facebook!

Support for 90.7 WMFE is provided by

Twenty Mice Hitch A Ride Into Space, Thanks To SpaceX

A laboratory mouse in which a gene affecting hair growth has been knocked out (left) is shown next to a normal lab mouse. (Image credit: National Institutes of Health)

SpaceX is set to launch a capsuled filled with supplies and science experiments to the International Space Station, including 20 lab mice.

The launch window opens at 12:31 p.m. Monday and weather remains favorable. Dragon will separate from Falcon 9’s second stage about 10 minutes after liftoff and attach to the space station on August 16.

Florida State University researcher Michael Delp wants to solve some biological problems astronauts face in space. To do that, he’s sending the group of mice to the station. For nearly a month, the mice will live in micro-gravity.

“The research is really geared to address several biomedical issues that face astronauts with long-duration space flight,” said Delp.

Those issues include bone and muscle deterioration as well as fluid pressure changes in the brain that impair space-travelers’ vision.

The mice will be returned to Earth, splashing down in the Pacific ocean next month. The Navy will pick up the furry test subjects and transport them to Loma Linda University in California. Then, they’ll be examined to see just how microgravity affected their physiology.

The supply mission is part of NASA’s commercial cargo program, paying private companies like SpaceX to ship materials to the space station.

Sign Up For 90.7 WMFE's Newsletter

Catch up on the latest Central Florida news and get updates on programs, events and more.


WMFE Journalistic Ethics Code | Public Media Code of Integrity

Brendan Byrne

About Brendan Byrne

Space Reporter and 'Intersection' Producer

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts "Are We There Yet?", WMFE's space exploration podcast He also helps produce WMFE's twice-weekly public affairs show "Intersection," working with host Matthew Peddie to shape the ... Read Full Bio »