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    Before man had attempted to reach space, scientists were unsure if living creatures could survive in a microgravity environment. Animals were originally sent into space to see if manned spaceflight could be pursued, and still today they are sometimes used for research purposes. Should animals be used in spaceflight testing?

    In the 1940s, scientists needed to investigate the effects of space travel on living organisms. From the late 1940s to 1960s, the U.S. launched into space fruit flies, mice, and monkeys of various species so scientists could monitor their vital signs and reactions to microgravity and radiation. The Soviet Union conducted similar tests with dogs, including stray dog Laika, the first animal to enter orbit in 1957. In the following decades, France, China, and Japan also launched animals into space to study their reactions to the space environment.

    Wide arrays of animals have been used for space research. Other animals flown in space include chimpanzees, guinea pigs, frogs, rats, cats, tortoises, fish, newts, shrimp, sea urchins, several types of insects, and more. Tests have also been conducted on various types of eggs.

    Because of the success of animal flights, humans have been able to explore the depths of space. NASA was able to send Alan Shepard into space just three months after learning from the successful spaceflight of Ham the chimpanzee in 1961. Animal research has helped scientists understand motion sickness, the effects of microgravity, and more. In addition, many discoveries have been made about animals’ instinctive behaviors while in this unfamiliar environment.Animals are only sent to space when absolutely necessary, however. Scientists prefer to research with computer models, or by involving astronauts directly. When animals do go to space, the Institutional Animal Care and Use Community helps provide the safest, gentlest solution for their care. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal Welfare Act and the Public Health Services Policy Act also help protect animals traveling in space.

    What is your opinion? Should animals be used for spaceflight research? Are any other alternatives available? Share your thoughts in the Opinion Corner forum.

     
    An oyster toadfish, flown as part of the Neurolab payload on Space Shuttle Mission STS-90. Photo courtesy NASA/KSC.
     
    Sam, the Rhesus monkey, after his ride in the Little Joe-2 spacecraft. A U.S. Navy destroyer safely recovered Sam after he experienced three minutes of weightlessness during the flight. Photo courtesy NASA.

    AuthorComment
    Jesse
    Student

    Academy For Science Foreign
    Huntsville, Alabama
    12/12/2005 2:49:43 PM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    I think that it was a little cruel but it was neccesary. So my theory is that we should as much as we have to not any more than neccesary.

    From Jesse
    student
    Student

    Dodgeland Middle
    Juneau, Wisconsin
    12/15/2005 8:42:39 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    No. Because animals can't talk and then we couldn't get info on what is going on up is space and if we send up humans we could at least communicate with the space station down on earth.
    Ashley
    Student

    Meadowview Elementary School
    Milford, Ohio
    12/16/2005 11:14:06 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    I dont think so because i think its not fun for the animals
    Dena Dinos
    Teacher

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/7/2006 12:59:14 PM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    ya its not fun for the animals they should us old animals or things that are dead
    Dena Dinos
    Teacher

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/7/2006 1:04:40 PM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    animals should not be used for projects because its not right a human wouldnt want to be used as a project getting tested on
    Dena Dinos
    Teacher

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/7/2006 1:04:53 PM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    I THING THAT IS WRONG AND BAD I THING PEPLE MUST SUE FOR THAT THATS IS PEPLE WHO DONT CARE OF DOGS.
    Dena Dinos
    Teacher

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/7/2006 2:00:26 PM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    no because how are they going to breath
    student
    Student

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/27/2006 8:24:42 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    to me i think no because they will never live there and just keep them for house pets.
    student
    Student

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/27/2006 8:26:30 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    i dont think that they should because it might hurt the animals
    student
    Student

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/27/2006 8:27:08 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    No I don't think animals should be killed because they are living creatures like humans.
    student
    Student

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/27/2006 8:27:33 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    no they should be able to live in the wild have cubs and be free.
    student
    Student

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/27/2006 8:28:14 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    yes, I do think that research on animals is the right thing. If it would harm humans, it is better to do on little animals.
    student
    Student

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/27/2006 8:29:01 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    No because that in any case is known as animal cruelity. They could have died up there and it would have very sad. I think it is mean and wrong! Sometimes do you think that it is even useful to send them up there? Also I think they are not even testing them in the first place. We should fight for animal rights!!!!!!!
    student
    Student

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/27/2006 8:29:12 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    no,because it is bad,because they will die.
    student
    Student

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/27/2006 8:29:20 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    No,because what if something goes terribly wrong because the animal gets scared.they would probably get scared because they belong in the wild.
    student
    Student

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/27/2006 8:29:32 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    I think animals should not be used. I think so because when they go to space they might be scared and be sad. Also, they might get hurt from the speed. So I think they should not be used for research.
    student
    Student

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/27/2006 8:30:04 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    I think that it's ok to test animals in space. I think that as long as none of the animals get hurt.
    student
    Student

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/27/2006 8:30:33 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    I THINK ANIMALS SOLD NOT BE SPAREFLIGH
    student
    Student

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/27/2006 8:32:00 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    Well, I guess animals should be able to travel to space
    after they are trained. Just like humans, animals are all different. Some can withstand the factors of space while others can not. If the animal wants to go to space, let em'. I mean, you dont just go up to anybody and say," hey you, we need you to go to space so your goin!". If we have an option, so should the animals. Right?
    student
    Student

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/27/2006 8:32:25 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    I think that animals should not have been tested on the spaceflight. This is why I think so I think so because first of all they were unsure about it and they don't even really know how the animals feel because its not them so they don't know. That is why i think that animals should not have been aboard.

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