RIP Spidernaut: The Space-Travelling Arachnid Is Dead

RIP Spidernaut: The Space-Travelling Arachnid Is Dead


Phidippus johnsoni

The NMNH released the following statement on its Facebook page:

It is with sadness that we announce the death of Nefertiti, the “Spidernaut.” “Neffi” was introduced to visitors Thursday, Nov. 29, after travelling 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.

Neffi’s life was short for that of a red-backed jumping spider. She only lived 10 months, compared to the typical lifespan of a year. But what she lacked in time she made up for in space travel. The little hero will be interred in the museum’s permanent collection. Her family — Salticidae, which is made up of about 5000 species of spiders — asks that you respect its privacy at this time. [NMNH Facebook via Smithsonian]