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

Is it possible for chickens to lay eggs in space?

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

Asked by: Johnathan Holmes, Bristol


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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luis villazon
Luis VillazonQ&A expert

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.


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