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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
    student
    Student

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/27/2006 8:32:32 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    No I think this is cruelty to animals. We shouldn't use animals for this.
    Student
    Student

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/27/2006 8:33:44 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    No because animals were not put on the earth to study planets.
    Student
    Student

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/27/2006 8:34:53 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    They should stop sending animals to space. This is Why,animals can't do any thing any way. So what is the point of sending animals to space if they don't even know what they are doing. Humans should be the only living thing that should go to space. Because if they go up there the humans will know what to do. That is why i think we should not send animals to space!
    Student
    Student

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/27/2006 8:35:04 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    yes, because instad of worry about people dieing
    student
    Student

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/27/2006 8:35:12 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    YES if they had normal brains they will want to go for there commuity so I agree
    Student
    Student

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/27/2006 8:41:51 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    Animels should not be sent in to spase because it is to much strese on their body
    student
    Student

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/27/2006 8:42:16 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    yes they should be tested cause unless we know the real deal in space we have to test on something. humans are acurate but animals are sort ofn the same.soomething can be tested and we end up missing info humans can die so does that sound reasonable?
    Student
    Student

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/27/2006 8:42:30 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    Yes because everything that goes in to space has to be tested. Even humans because they have to see if the humans are sick or if they are not sick. I think that because if they're sick they can die in space. If they are sick then they will give them medition.
    Student
    Student

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/27/2006 8:42:54 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    I think animals should be sent into space because we have the technology to make sure that they have a safe flight. I think if scientists are planning to launch a dangerous flight, they should send an animal before a human. They aren't going to send an endangered species up into space, so you won't have to worry about never seeing that animal again. I mean whats more impotant to you: A fly or a human? If you think that animals and humans are equal- they're not. Of course I don't think animals should be mistreated, but they're as safe as a human would be if he/she was going into space. So I think that since we have the technology, w should use it, and if we need to test it on an animal, then it's completly fine.
    student
    Student

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/27/2006 8:43:22 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.
    Student
    Student

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/27/2006 8:43:31 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    No they should not because the animals could get hurt. something could go wrong on the space ship. the animals do not know what to do or where they are. it is wrong. the animals didn't do anything to us so we shouldn't hurt the animals. that is why animals shouldn't be going to space in rockets.
    Student
    Student

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/27/2006 8:43:50 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    No animals shouldn't go in space because, animals won't be able to get the research.No there isn't any other alternatives to send.That is my opinion.
    student
    Student

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/27/2006 8:43:57 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    NO,it's not normal
    student
    Student

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/27/2006 8:44:07 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    No because they could die and thats rude how scienctist would do that.A if they are going to do that then they realy don't care for animals that much.
    student
    Student

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/27/2006 8:44:14 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    No because the animal can be deid with or without oxengen.
    student
    Student

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/27/2006 8:44:21 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    Mabye because it depans what kind of research what thier doing to the animals
    student
    Student

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/27/2006 8:44:28 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    I dont think that they should because that might hurt the animals and i like some animals
    student
    Student

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/27/2006 8:44:39 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    No,becase you sould keep the animal in the house and keep them for house pets.And you will need them.
    student
    Student

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/27/2006 8:44:48 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    i dont think animals should be used in space experiments because it is animal cruelty, and animal cruelty is wrong. so they souldnt use animals in space
    student
    Student

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/27/2006 8:45:06 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    no

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