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A squid ahead of its flight to space. Photo: NASA/Isaac Watson

Squids and tardigrades are now safely ensconced on the International Space Station after their flight to space this weekend.

Why it matters: The tiny creatures will be used for experiments that could help scientists learn more about how various organisms might behave in space.

What's happening: SpaceX flew the experiments and other cargo to the space station using a Dragon cargo craft that docked to the orbiting laboratory Saturday.

  • Scientists behind the squid experiment are planning to study if the relationship between bobtail squid and a certain bacteria that colonize a special organ of the creature may change in microgravity.
  • The researchers hope to use the data to learn more about how human health might be affected during long trips in space.
  • The tardigrade experimenters aim to learn more about how the creatures can survive in the extreme environment through generations.
  • “We want to see what ‘tricks’ they use to survive when they arrive in space, and, over time, what tricks their offspring are using,” Thomas Boothby, principal investigator of the experiment, said in a statement. “Are they the same or do they change across generations? We just don’t know what to expect.”

Go deeper

At least one person killed, 99 missing after deadly Miami-area condo collapse

A massive search-and-rescue operation is underway after a portion of a 12-story residential building in Surfside, Florida, collapsed at approximately 1:30 a.m. Thursday, according to AP.

The latest: Officials have accounted for 102 people who lived in the high-rise Champlain Towers South, but 99 people remained unaccounted for by midafternoon, said Mayor Daniella Levine Cava of Miami-Dade County at a press conference Thursday afternoon.

Biden strikes infrastructure deal with bipartisan group of senators

President Biden announced Thursday that he had agreed to a roughly $1 trillion infrastructure plan with a bipartisan group of ten senators, declaring: "We have a deal."

Why it matters: The agreement on the size and scope of an infrastructure package is a major achievement for Biden, who has long been a proponent of bipartisanship, but the compromise still faces serious hurdles in the House and Senate.

Pacific Northwest soon to be ground zero for record-shattering heat

Computer model projection showing the unusually strong heat dome over the Pacific Northwest on Sunday. (PivotalWeather).

A heat wave is bringing unprecedented high temperatures to the Pacific Northwest — a region of the country typically cooled by the ocean, rather than central air conditioning. The heat will begin Friday and last into early next week.

Why it matters: The heat wave will shatter monthly and all-time temperature records in the Pacific Northwest. Some of the records could break the old milestones by several degrees.