A French astronaut, who is scheduled to lift off Friday for a six-month stay aboard the International Space Station, will take four living and intelligent “blobs” with him into space for study.
Thomas Pesquet will study their growth and learn how the “blobs” are affected by microgravity. The “blobs” are single-celled organisms that are not plants, animals, or fungi, according to France 24.
“Blob,” also known as physarum polycephalum in the scientific community, is a living species composed of a single cell and is capable of learning and making decisions. (RELATED: NASA Makes History With First Helicopter Flight On Another Planet)
“The blob is fascinating in many ways. It has exceptional abilities,” said Audrey Dussutour, research director at the CNRS’s Animal Cognition Research Centre, according to France 24.
“[U]nder the right conditions, a blob is almost immortal,” Dussutour went on to tell France 24.
“It is intelligent … It is capable of learning, memorizing but also of transmitting information to its fellow creatures.”
— FRANCE 24 (@FRANCE24) April 22, 2021
Once in space, researchers are unsure of how the “blobs” will react, according to France 24. (RELATED: Ohio Medical Researcher Sentenced To 33 Months For Stealing Trade Secrets To China)
Dussutour is hoping that the experiments will yield useful data that can be used to create a scientific paper and give researchers further insight into the unique organisms, according to France 24.
“This will allow us to observe how they move, how they navigate in space and compare that with their behavior on Earth,” says Dussutour.