Natural History Society of Maryland
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Natural History Society of Maryland

Butterflies in Space

  • 27 Oct 2021
  • 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
  • Online via Zoom


(depends on selected options)

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Can butterflies metamorphose in space? In 2009, the Butterflies in Space project launched Painted Lady and Monarch butterflies into space where they landed at the International Space Station. Ms. Stefanie Countryman is the Director of BioServe Space Technologies and a Research Associate within the Ann and HJ Smead Aerospace Engineering and Sciences Department at the University of Colorado Boulder will discuss the process and technical challenges that needed to be overcome in order to successfully complete the experiment in orbit as well as the outcomes.

NOTE: This Butterflies in Space project was part of BioServe’s CSI K-12 educational program that provided educational materials and classroom kits designed to represent as closely as possible the space flight hardware.  The students were able to compare results in their classrooms to results occurring in orbit in near-real time. 

Ms. Countryman has worked for BioServe for over 20 years. She has been involved in or directly responsible for the development and/or management of over 70 different space life science experiments including the Butterflies in Space K-12 educational project.  As such, she is intimately familiar with the process for developing, launching and operating life science experiments in space as well as the development of the supporting space flight hardware.  

BioServe Space Technologies is a Center within the Ann and HJ Smead Aerospace Engineering Sciences department at the University of Colorado Boulder.  Since its inception in 1987, BioServe has designed, built, and flown hundreds of microgravity life science research experiments and hardware on 80 spaceflight missions.

The Lep Club, is made up of novice and expert lepidopterists who meet to exchange knowledge and support concerning habitat, threats, food sources, identification, and life cycle of butterflies and moths. Club meetings encourage a sharing of knowledge for the raising and breeding of moths and butterflies through hands-on lessons and guest speakers. Club members are also involved in outreach in the greater Baltimore community through educational programs and service projects. Club meetings feature a guest speaker that share their knowledge on a topic related to moths and butterflies as well as time to distribute caterpillars and eggs. As a group, we rear and share incredible native butterflies and saturniid moths (lunas, polyphemus, cedropia, imperials and more) with one another. Senior club members always walk you through everything you need to know in order to successfully raise your new friends.
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The Natural History Society of Maryland is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation and contributions are tax-deductible.

The mission of the Natural History Society of Maryland is to foster stewardship of Maryland’s natural heritage by conserving its natural history collections, educating its citizenry, and inspiring its youth to pursue careers in the natural sciences.

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