According to Space,com The next astronauts to travel to the International Space Station (ISS) will be taking a few little buddies along. The story begins:
When the next Russian-built Soyuz capsule launches to the International Space Station in October, it will deliver three new crewmembers to the orbiting outpost. But the trio of spaceflyers will be sharing their ride with some special cargo: 32 small fish for a science experiment at the space lab.
The medaka fish are native to southeast Asia, and have been the subjects of lab study in Japan for a very long time. In fact they are analagous, in many ways, to the labratory mice and rats we study here in the United States. Scientists can extrapolate animal results to humans due to the wealth of knowledge they have acquired over the years.
So these little guys will have an important job to do, in addition to entertaining the astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the ISS..