Martian Macaques

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?

BBC article

Tip o’ the hat to Universe Today.


2 responses

  1. Hi dad2059…

    In short order the earth will have 6.8 billion hominid monkeys running about…!

    The Russians still have little respect for human life so they should hit their modern day, fetid, ruskie prisons; formerly gulags and offer those sentenced to life a chance to play maqaque for a year or so. They could send them Mars and back and possibly be able to train them to do some level of scientific research. If they make it they’ll become national heros and be freed as part of the deal. There’s no doubt some very bright people doing life in ruskie jails.

    This wouldn’t be a landing, but simply an orbital reconaissance then back to earth type of mission. I’m sure the prisoners would be capable of running camera gear and operating fundamental aspects of such a mission. Hell, there may be wayward ruskie astronauts doing hard down time too, so this would be a win-win for the prisoners and their regime. : ))

    I thought I’d supply an earth population clock. Make sure you proceed to the expanded version by clicking on the option in the lower right corner. It’s quite fascinating including the annual rate of specie extinctions. The second link concerns the voracious useage of these high order primates for so-called research. Again there’s no shortage of humans for such experimental purposes. Enjoy!

    Carl Nemo **==

  2. I like the links Carl, especially the second page of the population clock, pretty informative.

    Yeah, it’s unfortunate the macaques are being farmed. I’m surprised they adapted to human inhabited areas quite well, that’s unusual for wild creatures. It’s probably the reason they get caught for experiments, it’s easy and they’re used to people.

    No doubt Russia has human prisoners they use for their space experiments, but you’d be surprised how many might actually be volunteers. Check out this entry;

    In the old Soviet State, to die for the space program was a great honor. Failure was not even a consideration.

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