Research flight 6

Oy! Tuesday morning (Monday for you western hemisphere-types) we flew the first night mission, with takeoff at 2:00 AM. The night flights are essential because most of the processes we’re studying are driven by photochemistry, so the transition from night-to-day is important to record. It just means that we don’t get much sleep! My pre-flight sleep was also disturbed a bit by the presence of Alan (named after our esteemed mission scientist), a humongous spider that appeared in my room after dinner, and who was just too scary to try to kill. I decided that if I didn’t bother him, he wouldn’t bother me, although it was a bit difficult lying in bed in the dark wondering what Alan was up to at that very moment.  I posted a picture below. I actually thought about putting something in the frame for scale, but just could not bear to put my hand near the pincers. I would estimate Alan is about 5 inches in diameter.

Alan the spider. Click at your own risk. Especially you, Nicole.

Edited to add:  I have found Alan the spider online!  Apparently it is a male Huntsman or Banana Spider, which are harmless and like to roam about and eat cockroaches.  In that case, Alan the spider is welcome in my room anytime. As long as he keeps his distance.


  1. Nicole said

    I guess I’ll have no right to complain about the insect-life in my room when you get back.
    Don’t you love the internet? They make huge scary things seem like puppy dogs. Although, it could backfire and make it more scarier.

    By the by, did ya get the goods?

  2. Amel said

    Oh my god, i just heard on NPR/WCAI that the banana spider is called such because the “poison” it gives causes one’s “member” to enlarge…. they are researching how it can be the next Viagra. Seriously, i kid you not…. So Ames, something else i hope will not help keep you awake at night. My god, that big of a spider, how can you not get someone to kill it or at least relocate him???? Granted, if it’s a symbiotic relationship as apparently it is (given the previous discussions of roach poop), by all means, enjoy your new roomie Ames. Just remember who was the Original Roomie (yeah, that’s right- yours truly). Alan, don’t take my crown… LOL Hope you’re catching up on your beauty sleep!! Take care and be safe- love amel

  3. Alan the spider is crawling his way to fame on the web.
    While researching a spider to use in a logo for a 2008 web conference I found Alan.

    I introduced a vector based version of Alan to our business team and explained his heritage and your blog. They loved the story and Alan is now our web mascot!
    Alan joins the Windows logo and the Java Coffee Cup as conference logo’s.

    Alan’s site isn’t ready yet but I’ll be back soon to tell you about the site and send a copy of his image.

    Happy Christmas from Ireland!

  4. Amy said

    That’s super cool. I’m sorry I abandoned this site so egregiously.

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