Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History announces the death of space-flown spider via Facebook on Monday, Dec. 3.
It is with sadness that we announce the death of Nefertiti, the “Spidernaut.” “Neffi” was introduced to visitors Thursday, Nov. 29, after traveling in space on a 100-day, 42-million-mile expedition en route to and aboard the International Space Station. She was there to take part in a student-initiated experiment on microgravity.
This morning, before museum hours, a member of the Insect Zoo staff discovered Neffi had died of natural causes. Neffi lived for 10 months. The lifespan of the species, Phidippus johnsoni, can typically reach up to 1 year.
The loss of this special animal that inspired so many imaginations will be felt throughout the museum community. The body of Neffi will be added to the museum’s collection of specimens where she will continue to contribute to the understanding of spiders.
Nefertiti the space spider is reportedly the first jumping spider to survive a trip in space. Nefertiti, named in honor of Egypt’s ancient history
Other space spiders have encountered similar destiny, joining the Smithsonian’s display collection. “Arabella” and “Anita” the first spiders to spin webs in space, both died while on the United States’ first space station, Skylab, in 1973. A year later, after they were returned to Earth