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CNN: Can jumping spiders kill in space? Student's experiment set for orbit

The Egyptian winner of the YouTube Space Lab competition will carry out his experiment in space later this year.
07.06.12 | Interesting article at CNN

Can jumping spiders still hunt for their prey in space?

It may sound like science fiction or the start of a bad joke, but this is an experiment that will be carried out on the International Space Station later this year, thanks to Egyptian teenager Amr Mohamed.

Mohamed, 19, from Alexandria, came up with one of the two winning entries from around the world for the YouTube Space Lab competition, backed by Professor Stephen Hawking, which asked students to design experiments for space scientists.

The idea behind Mohamed's experiment is to study how the zebra spider, which jumps on its prey rather than building a web, will hunt when it is in zero gravity.

It was conceived through Mohamed's fascination with both science and spiders.

"I'm just interested in how things work, and science seems to answer all my questions," said Mohamed. "For example, physics can explain the world with just a handful of equations. And biology tells you how your body works. I'm just interested in that stuff."

Mohamed only heard about the Space Lab competition three days before the deadline, so he designed and made a YouTube video of his idea in a single day.
He said he was reading about which animals had been in space, and discovered orb weaver spiders among them.