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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 8:45:16 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    No i think animals should not be tested on in space.some reasons for putting animals in space don t seme to make much sense.
    Student
    Student

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/27/2006 8:45:25 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    no, because they are worring about their self and not the animals!!!!
    student
    Student

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/27/2006 8:45:36 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    No animals should not be used for Space Research because I think you are being cruel to animals.I dont think there is a use for sending animals to space.
    Student
    Student

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/27/2006 8:45:42 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    NO becuse they cant reaspond in space.I say we shouldsend man to space.
    student
    Student

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/27/2006 8:45:48 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    No I do not think animals should be used for space research because they can die or get hurt.
    student
    Student

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/27/2006 8:45:55 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    NO because they might react wild to the 0gravit
    student
    Student

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/27/2006 8:46:05 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    NO THEN there would be very little grous of animals in the planet and humans woul have very littol to eat.
    student
    Student

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/27/2006 8:46:11 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    no because they could die from no air in space,and soffercate ther self.
    student
    Student

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/27/2006 8:46:42 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    no,because i dont think it is right to test on animals because there can be side affects if they were to take any kinds of medications or pills they may feel dizzy so i dinkn that they should get humans that voulenter to be tested on because that is not nice.
    student
    Student

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/27/2006 8:46:52 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    No,I do not think you should test animals for your reasearch.I mean what results are they gonna give you.I think that's illegal to do that.That's my quote.

    Student
    Student

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/27/2006 8:47:01 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    No,they shouldn't because if we end up losing them in space we could screw up are whole cycle of nature eating.


    Student
    Student

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/27/2006 8:47:11 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    no because it culd kill the and they may all die and destroy the population.And it could destroy the whole sical.
    Student
    Student

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/27/2006 8:47:18 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    not all animals should be used for space
    student
    Student

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/27/2006 8:47:34 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    I think that animals should not be sent up in space.i say this because we have all ready sent humans up and know how they react to being out of the orbit. Also, animals do not know how to control the space shuttle ir how to collect soil from the planet or anything like that.
    Although, we can probaly teach the animal this they proably won't remember after they go out the orbit.This is why i think animals should not go up to space.
    Student
    Student

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/27/2006 8:47:46 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    NO THEY SHOULDNT BE USED FOR SPACE RESEARCH BECAUSE ANIMALS ARE IMPORTANT TO LIFE. WE NEED THEM FOR FOOD
    AND LOTS OF OTHER THINGS.
























































    Student
    Student

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/27/2006 8:47:55 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    i think that they should not be used for space research because we need them on earth to look cute.
    Student
    Student

    Memorial Intermediate
    Vineland, New Jersey
    4/27/2006 8:49:14 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    NO THEY SHOULDNT BE USED FOR SPACE RESEARCH BECAUSE ANIMALS ARE IMPORTANT TO LIFE. WE NEED THEM FOR FOOD
    AND LOTS OF OTHER THINGS.
    Abbie
    Student

    Maple School District
    Poplar, Wisconsin
    10/5/2006 11:21:11 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    YES! Because they don't really care either way because they are going to die anyway. Besides they will have more fun telling all their animal friends that they have traveled to space and come back alive. But seriously they should only send cats, mice, spiders, and snakes. Dogs should never be put through that suffering.
    Loren
    Student

    Maple School District
    Poplar, Wisconsin
    10/5/2006 11:21:18 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    Yeah
    Mike
    Student

    Maple School District
    Poplar, Wisconsin
    10/12/2006 11:14:12 AM
    Re: Should Animals Be Used for Space Research?
    HEY! YEAH WHY NOT?

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