Nefertiti, the Spidernaut
Nefertiti, the Spidernaut: The Jumping Spider Who Learned to Hunt in Space
Nefertiti, the Spidernaut
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2017 National Science Teacher's Association Outstanding Science Trade Book2016-17 Alabama Camellia Children's Choice Book Award reading listTHE AMAZING VOYAGE OF NEFERTITI, THE SPIDERNAUT --Most spiders spin a web and passively wait for prey to come to them. Jumping spiders, by contrast, actively hunt by jumping to catch their food. What if a jumping spider was sent to the International Space Station? When it jumped, it would simply float. No one knew if the spider could hunt in a weightless environment.This nonfiction picture book for elementary kids chronicles the amazing voyage of Nefertiti, the Spidernaut to the International Space Station and back. She's a Phiddipus johnsonii, or Johnson jumping spider, native to western United States. Her colorful anatomy--red, black and teal--made for stunning photography and video. In 2012, Nefertiti clocked a record-breaking 100 days in space, during which time she circled Earth about 1584 times, traveling about 41,580,000 miles.Astronaut Sunita Williams, Captain U.S. Navy said, "It was a suspense story for me as it happened. I didn't know if she would survive when I unpacked her for the first time, or when I packed her up and sent her back home to Earth."This is an astonishing story of change: through the dark and cold, in spite of being weightless and isolated, this incredible spider adapted and learned to hunt. Against all odds, she survived to return to Earth, where she had to re-adapt to Earth's gravity. Nefertiti's story of survival brings hope that we, too, can adapt to a changing world.Join Nefertiti in this inspiring journey into space. 

Book Details


  • Nonfiction

Age Level: 

  • 8 - 12
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Stefanie Countryman, a scientist from NASA, is looking for a jumping spider for NASA's newest experiment. They want to test if jumping spiders can adapt to space's microgravity environment. Stepfanie receives a package with a sac of jumping spider eggs and fruitflies and is disappointed to see that only four of them have survived. Of the four, Stefanie chooses the biggest female spider, who she names Nefertiti. She then prepares Nefertiti for her 100-day journey to space by putting her through various tests such as surviving with no light.
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Nefertiti, the Spidernaut is about an insect who is sent into space.  Stephanie Countryman, a NASA scientist, was searching for a jumping spider for her new experiment. It was felt that jumping spiders in this experiment would not be able to eat food as there would be little gravity on International Space Station. They would just float, finding it hard to hunt in space and therefore survive.

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