Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Russia Breeding Monkeys to Send to Mars

I don't know how they will survive a 520 day trip there and back, but the Russians want to send monkeys to Mars.

The macaques will be the first to experience the radiation that poses a big risk to astronauts - or Russian cosmonauts - on any flight to the Red Planet.

The Sochi Institute of Medical Primatology, at Vesyoloye near the Black Sea, has a proud history of involvement in the Russian - formerly Soviet - space programme.

"People and monkeys have approximately identical sensitivity to small and large radiation doses," explains the institute's director, Boris Lapin. "So it is better to experiment on the macaques, but not on dogs or other animals."

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