Chris Barreras, Payloads Engineer Responds:
Rat Habitat, Submitted by Mellie Lewis's 5th Grade E.T. Math Class at Atholton Elementary School
This is a good one!
I would place the fan in a location so the mother rodent and the babies do not collide with it in zero g. They probably will not, but we should never assume anything with rats in zero g.
I have seen during ground testing, that the baby rodents will nurse from the mother for a time, then they will eat the same food the mother is eating. So, I would not use bottled food. I would stay with one type of food. This will keep is simpler.
Remember part of the experiment is to see how the nursing is affected in zero g or micorgravity.
Good idea with the airflow and waste management.
I would try using a pressurized container for the water instead of a pump. Pressure being no greater than 30 psig.