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Effects of Weightlessness on the Nuclear and Cellular Division of Pelomyxa carolinensis (P-1035B)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Cell and molecular biology
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Pelomyxa carolinensis Species: Amoeba


To study the effects of weightlessness on nuclear and cellular division in a single cell, this study used the giant multi-nucleate amoeba Pelomyxa carolinensis. Although this organism appears to be independent of gravity on Earth, it does require a gravitational force to attach to a substrate for locomotion and feeding. When feeding, there is considerable protoplasmic movement which may be independent of a gravitational fields. During mitosis and cell division, however, there is relatively little motion. Since the cell is large with a relatively large nuclei, weightlessness was expected to alter the manner and rate of reproduction.

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Eckberg, D.R. et al.: Nuclear and Cellular Division in Pelomyxa carolinensis During Weightlessness. BIOSPEX: Biological Space Experiments, NASA TM-58217, 1979, p. 103.

Eckberg, D.R. et al.: Nuclear and Cellular Division in Pelomyxa carolinensis During Weightlessness. The Experiments of Biosatellite II, NASA SP-204, 1971, pp. 273-290.

Eckberg, D.R. et al.: The Effects of Weightlessness on Pelomyxa: II. Nuclear and Cellular Division. Bioscience, vol. 18, no. 6, 1968, pp. 617-622.

Eckberg, D.R.: Biosatellite Controlled Experiments Requirements and Nature, Noting Flight Weightlessness, Radiation, and Biological Rhythm Effects. British Interplanetary Society Journal, vol. 21, 1968, pp. 148-153.

Cell division
Cell nucleus
Cell physiology
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Data Information
Data Availability
Archive is complete. No data sets are available for this experiment. Please Contact LSDA if you know of available data for this investigation.

Behavior, Paramecium ingestion, amoebae, Observation, microscopy
Cell division
Consumption, Diet, amoebae, Measured, biosatellite
Mitotic forms
Nuclear division
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Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
Biosatellite II 09/07/1967 09/09/1967 2 days

Additional Information
Managing NASA Center
Ames Research Center (ARC)
Responsible NASA Representative
Ames Research Center LSDA Level 3
Project Manager: Sylvain Costes
Institutional Support
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Alternate Experiment Name
Protocol / Approach