Is it possible for chickens to lay eggs in space? © Getty Images

Is it possible for chickens to lay eggs in space?

While it's possible to lay an egg in orbit, successfully incubating one may prove more problematic.

Asked by: Johnathan Holmes, Bristol

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Only one bird has ever actually laid an egg in space. A quail aboard the Russian Soyuz TM-10 spacecraft laid an egg while travelling to the Mir space station in 1990. It seems likely that other birds would be able to physically lay eggs in zero-g, but successfully incubating those eggs is much harder. Experiments with both quail and chicken eggs in space show much higher rates of birth defects in the bird embryos.


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