The "space spider", Nefertiti, has died of natural causes after spending 100 days outside Earth and traveling around 42 million miles.
Also called "Spidernaut", Nefertiti was launched into space as part of a YouTube Space Lab experiment which invited teenagers to share their ideas; this particular experiment was submitted by 18-year old Amr Mohamed from Alexandria, Egypt. During her 100 days on board an orbiting labratory, Nefertiti proved that her species was fully capable of adjusting hunting and feeding techniques in periods of weightlessness. When she came back to Earth she was to be put on display at the Smithsonian, but unfortunately she passed away just five days after her triumphant return.
“The unexpected loss of this special animal who inspired so many imaginations will be felt throughout the museum community….The body of Nefertiti will be added to the museum’s collection of specimens where she will continue to contribute to our understanding of spiders," said Smithsonian spokesperson Kelly Carnes.
Nefertiti's body will be added to the museum's specimen collection.