finchwench: kiss kiss (Default)
finchwench ([personal profile] finchwench) wrote2011-09-02 01:30 am

Birds in Space I: Eggstraterrestrial Chicken Embryos

Over a year ago, I had the privilege of attending a talk on directions in space biology given by Dr. Antonio J. Ricco, and having had so recently seen the image of the "moulting swan," I just had to ask about birds in space. He mentioned the case of launched avian embryos referring to the work of Dr. J. David Dickman, but he and his associates did not know with certainty whether there were really birds (ex ova) in space. Since then, I confess that I have eggshausted, intermittently, an eggsorbitant number of hours reading and writing about Galliformes and their embryos in space.

On the question of the chicken or the egg, eggs went first, at least to space. NASA's original attempt at chicken embryology experiments in space began as a student project. The idea was conceived by John C. Vellinger as an eighth grader in Lafayette, Indiana. Throughout high school he was entering his proposal into a contest held by the Shuttle Student Involvement Program with sponsorship of NASA and the National Science Teachers Association.J. Young and R. Krippen

Mission patch for SE 83-9 or "Chix in Space"
on which Col. Sanders is acknowledged

Vellinger claimed distinction at the district level for three consecutive years, and in 1983, he won at the national level.
The kid proved to be upwardly mobile from there and with all of the right connections. He got a little help from "The Colonel," and I do not mean an Air Force colonel. After his first year at Purdue University in 1985, NASA arranged for mentorship by Mark Deuser, an engineer who was working for Kentucky Fried Chicken, the corporation that sponsored the $50,000 incubation project and not only in the interest of becoming the "'first fast-food restaurant in space.'"

An eggsperiment in the final frontier > > > > >