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John McCartney and Herald staff | jmccartney@heraldnet.com
Published: Wednesday, December 5, 2012, 2:52 p.m.

'Astronaut' spider dies at Smithsonian

  • The spider habitat on the International Space Station. The Johnson jumping spider, part of a University of Colorado experiment, died Monday.

    NASA

    The spider habitat on the International Space Station. The Johnson jumping spider, part of a University of Colorado experiment, died Monday.

The U.S. astronaut corps has lost another member.

Nefertiti, a spider that traveled 42 million miles through space before returning to Earth in October, died after being sent to the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

The experiment was designed to determine if a spider dependent on gravity for catching its meals would be able to adapt and eat in micro gravity.

According to the Boulder Daily Camera, the spider was able to hunt down fruit flies in her sealed space environment on the International Space Station until her food supply ran out.

The spider managed to survive despite a miscalculation on the amount of food needed for the mission.

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