While I was doing my morning routine this a.m., trawling the InnerTubes and drinking coffee, I spotted this interesting little piece:
They won’t utter Yuri Gagarin’s famous phrase “Let’s go!” But the monkeys of Sochi have already proven their worth as trailblazers in space – and now they are being groomed for a trip 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.”
Leave it to the Russians to get all serious on us about actually putting human beings on Mars, or any primate for that matter. The Russians of course have a long history of putting animals into space to test affects of cosmic rays and other radiations that can damage organic matter. Yeah, I know, PETA and a bevy of animal rights groups will raise a hew and cry over this, but let’s face facts here; animals are poached, caught, shipped, abused and raised at ‘mills’ for the express purpose of getting experimented on by various industries all over the world to test consumer products whether we like it or not. Cosmetic industries are notorious for that especially. Okay there’s international laws and all that jive, but you know as well as I animal experimentation still happens, fact.
Since the Russians are old hands at this, there are actual survivors of space experiments conducted, so they just don’t shoot them up there and let them burn up on re-entry. The idea is to have living proof of the studies, if humans are to follow.
The Russians are obviously serious about finding new industrial and living space resources without committing genocide on unfortunate Third World nations, putting their new-found energy exporting muscle to good use. The superpower game is a “been there, done that” deal to them.
So the first ‘canned primate’ to land on Mars might not be a human.
I hope the Russians let the macaques have some kind of celebration if they make it there in one piece. Maybe bananas dipped in Smirnoff’s?
Tip o’ the hat to Universe Today.