A variety of live animals have been launched in to space by Russia as part of a new one-month mission.
The internationally backed experiment is designed to test the ways in which space travel effects living creatures. On board the Bion-M1 space capsule are 45 mice, 8 gerbils, 15 geckos and a number of other species, scientists have offered their assurances that all the animals will be returned alive and well to the Earth afterwards. The data the mission provides could prove vital in future manned space missions.
"There has been a long history of this kind of biological research over the past 40 years, and NASA and the Russian side have been collaborating for that entire time, which is pretty remarkable," said Nicole Rayl who is overseeing NASA's portion of the mission. "The unique nature of this mission is that it's a 30-day mission, so it's longer than a lot of the other animal and biological missions we've flown."
"An intrepid critter crew of geckos, mice and gerbils and other animals launched into orbit Friday (April 19) to begin a month-long Russian experiment to study how space travel affects living creatures."
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