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The early history of space exploration is full of sad stories of dogs, monkeys, and other animals being strapped into space capsules and sent into orbit. These early tests often had disastrous results for the animals. Now, with Mars as the next goal for space exploration, the Russian space agency has announced that they are currently training a group of rhesus monkeys to travel to Mars in 2017. As you can imagine, animal rights activists are outraged.
Did you know that the first monkey to be sent into space died upon re-entry way back in the 1940s? In fact, according to the Smithsonian, it wasn’t until a full 10 years later that the first monkeys returned from space alive.
The Russian space agency is currently training the monkeys to perform simple tasks to operate controls, all while they are strapped into constraining seats and given sips of juice as rewards for performing tasks successfully, reports One Green Planet.
If the idea of sending monkeys on months-long space flights is upsetting to you, you’re not alone. You can sign a petition to tell Russia to stop space experiments with animals by signing THIS PETITION.
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