Hampture underwater colony established for science, leads the way for future hamster space exploration

Brian Heater
B. Heater|08.14.12

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Animals have had a rough time of it, when it comes to scientific exploration. Look no further than Laika, the first animal to orbit Earth, soon becoming the first animal to die in orbit, not too long after achieving that earlier distinction. The dwarf hamsters that occupy Hampture seem to be considerably happier in their own scientific explorations than the Soviet mutt, at the moment. Bob Averill brought the project to our attention last week on our visit to Portland, Oregon. According to the official blog, the project is an attempt to "learn firsthand what is involved in designing and constructing a complete underwater habitat capable of sustaining complex organisms." It also may well be a gateway to sending the hamsternauts into space via Skystation Mk1. Averill is also looking to turn Hampture into a salable product, though Kickstarter, for one, has apparently balked at the idea. In the meantime, you can check out a streaming feed of the habitat after the break and read up on the making of the project in the source links below.

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