The research project, led by Jack Bergman of McLean Hospital, a Harvard Medical School affiliate in Belmont, Mass., was one of 12 awarded radiobiology research grants through NASA's Human Research Program, the space agency announced October 27. In Bergman's study, according to Discovery News, 18 to 28 squirrel monkeys would be subjected to radiation and periodically tested to gauge how exposure affects performance in a variety of learned tasks. Stellar and galactic radiation would bombard astronauts on missions to Mars, but the health effects of such a trip are not well known.
Trips to Mars? I am so sorry, but the likelihood and necessity of trips to Mars are immeasurably low right now. Of what benefit is this to humanity in the here and now? This is so frigging frivolous. If we are going to subject animals to great suffering (radiation for heaven's sake), don't let it be for something like this. We are nowhere near that.
To be honest, I like science fiction and find the universe fascinating, but I do not support NASA funding. I believe that money to explore space can go to help an impoverished nation. Or better yet, to protect and cherish the planet WE CURRENTLY LIVE ON.
There's nothing to currently do on Mars, but plant a flag and play with some rocks.