Effects of Gravity on Insect Circadian Rhythmicity

Beetle Activity Monitors

This photo shows a chassis containing eight Beetle Activity Monitors (BAMs), each capable of providing food, light and ventilation to one beetle during space flight. Each BAM consists of a "revolving door"-type assembly that allows the beetle to walk in a circular pattern while pushing the "door" ahead of it. The rotating assembly is in turn linked to an infrared sensor that records the motion electronically onto data logs for future review. In this way, researchers receive a record of beetle movement which correlates to the beetles' rest/activity cycle. Thirty-two BAMs (four chasses) are stored in a Beetle Kit. Two Beetle Kits were flown to the Russian Mir Space Station aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis for the sixth Shuttle-Mir docking mission.

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Page last updated: 07/16/1999