WASHINGTON -- Like some of capital’s other denizens, this town’s newest celebrity may give you the creeps.
It’s a spider, and it's drawing a lot of attention at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History’s Insect Zoo.
This is no ordinary spider: It recently returned from 100 days in space.
The “Spidernaut’’ got a ticket to ride the International Space Station via a competition for novel science experiments among students ages 14 to 18. There were 2,000 entries.
One of the winners, Amr Mohamed, 18, of Alexandria, Egypt, proposed examining how spiders would hunt prey in microgravity. The result: Nefertiti, the name given to the jumping spider, was indeed able to catch her prey – fruit flies.
Nefertiti was put on public display Thursday at the Insect Zoo where she will remain for the rest of her life – estimated to be about six months, according to the Smithsonian. Another space spider, Cleopatra, died on the way back to Earth.