We Sent Bees to Space

May 10, 2019

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Blue Origin, New Shepard, flight NS-11

Up, up and away!

In collaboration with the Space Exploration Initiative at the MIT Media Lab and Blue Origin, we successfully sent two queen bees and her workers into space.

This project marked the Media Lab’s 1st rocket launch and just the 3rd time bees have been sent into space—ever.

Sample shot from the video footage collected in our two payloads during the launch

A once-in-a-lifetime vacation.

The bees were in space for a total of 10 minutes—which to a bee’s lifespan is like 9 days for a human! They survived their exploration and made it back to earth safely. 

We’re not sure if bees have bucket lists, but this must have been a very exciting trip.

Inside the capsule.

Why send bees to space?

Because we’re taking #savethebees to the next level. The launch enabled us to explore how honeybee fertility and behavior respond to extreme environments. This contributes to the understanding of important future challenges from climate change to off-planet pollination.

Photo of Aaron Weber of The Urban Beekeeping Lab and Neri Oxman’s group at Mediated Matter celebrating a successful launch in El Paso, TX.
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