NASA astronaut adopts unusual 'pets' in space

Astronauts on the space station don't have dogs or cats to keep them company, so sometimes they create their own microgravity pets.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
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I would name them Pinky and Spotty.

Randy Bresnik/NASA

NASA astronaut Randy Bresnick has two kids. They had a very pressing question for their dad, who's currently floating on board the International Space Station. Do you have pets in space? Bresnik answered that query with a tweet on Monday. He made his own pets using colorful balloons.

Bresnik writes, "What do you do when your 7- and 11-year-old children ask you if you have pets in space? …. You make them of course!" 

Bresnik shared a photo showing two cute balloon animals floating around the space station in microgravity. One is a yellow giraffe, while the other is a pink ... something with a long tail. Bresnik even used a pen to add spots to the giraffe and eyes and a mouth to the other creature. Perhaps this needs to be the start of a #dadsinspace meme.

The ISS does sometimes host real furry animals, such as mice, but those aren't pets. They're part of the ISS' science mission. 

Bresnik's temporary balloon menagerie is at least low maintenance, requiring no feeding or litter-box cleaning. 

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