NASA Levitates a Mouse With Magnetic Fields
[Via Popular Science]Popular Science said:
Scientists working on behalf of NASA have successfully levitated a mouse using a strong magnetic field. I pay taxes so that stuff like this can happen. I don't hate animals. It's for understanding microgravity better, ok?
The effort is part of NASA's desire to investigate how the human body can cope with long-term low gravity situations, for long stints on the ISS and future trips beyond our own moon. One way to model microgravity is to apply a strong magnetic field that opposes gravity, which repels the water in animals' bodies and levitates them slightly.
Although mice might initially freak out (understandably--I bet they got some levitating mouse pee, too), they were able to adjust to a levitated lifestyle in about four hours. Scientists have previously levitated frogs and grasshoppers, but a mammal model is more useful for learning about gravity's effects on humans.
I only wish that NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab had a video or a photo from a better angle (yes, I asked). And someday when someone powers up a human-sized version, I want a ride.
[Via Live Science]