Please Share

Sunday, November 1, 2009

NASA Running Tests On Spider Monkeys

For the first time in decades NASA is working with primates as part of the preparation for space missions. This time around spider monkeys are being exposed to radiation similar to that which a human might be exposed to when traveling to Mars.

"We realized there was a need for this kind of work," Jack Bergman, a behavioral pharmacologist at Harvard Medical School's McLean Hospital in Boston, told Discovery News.

"There's a long-standing commitment on the part of NASA to deep space travel and with that commitment comes a need for knowing what kinds of adverse effects deep space travel might have, what are the risks to astronauts," Bergman said. "That's not been well assessed."

The animals will not be destroyed after the experiments but will rather be cared for at a veterinary hospital, with no further experiments to be preformed on them.

Chimpanzees were sent into space prior to the first human attempts in order to test the Mercury capsules.

Source: Discovery News.