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Swift
2009-May-04, 08:37 PM
From CNN.com (http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/space/05/01/astronauts.space.chimps/index.html)

FORT PIERCE, Florida (CNN) -- The chimpanzees could sense something was different.

Most days, the only people they see on their island habitats are their caretakers. But on Thursday afternoon, the chimps got a special visit from reporters and camera crews, along with two men who share a unique bond with the animals.

The place was a sanctuary run by Save the Chimps, a nonprofit dedicated to providing a permanent home for chimpanzees rescued from research laboratories, NASA facilities and other sources.

The men were astronauts Scott Carpenter and Bob Crippen, two heroes of the U.S. space program. And the chimpanzees -- some of them, anyway -- were veterans of early test flights by NASA and the U.S. military.

"We're paying them back for their service," said Carpenter, one of NASA's original Mercury Seven astronauts and the second American to orbit the Earth. He toured the sanctuary with Crippen, who piloted Columbia on the first space shuttle flight in 1981.

PraedSt
2009-May-04, 09:02 PM
I'm wondering if we're still allowed to do that- send chimps, dogs, and other cute mammals into space. Or have PETA and Co. banned that sort of thing?

R.A.F.
2009-May-04, 09:15 PM
Not so much "allowed" as "needed". The only reason we sent chimps, etc. into space in the early 60's was because we didn't know how conditions in space would effect humans, so we send test animals.

In those days, space doctors were very (one might say overly) cautious.

Nicolas
2009-May-04, 10:24 PM
Coming from a timeframe where it was believed that anything above 2G would kill a man, not being too confident about surviving space wasn't that cautious.

Sorry for the chimps who lost their lives, and a good thing the surviving ones are taken care of. And from now on, let's test our crazy ideas on ourselves first. :)

PraedSt
2009-May-04, 10:30 PM
Oh yeah, I know we don't need to. I was wondering if we could, if we wanted to. For whatever dumb reason...

KaiYeves
2009-May-05, 12:27 AM
Nowadays missions last weeks or months, so bringing along food for the people and the animals would just not be practical.

01101001
2009-May-05, 01:06 AM
It's not like the International Space Station is animal free.

NASA Student Feature: Animals in Space (http://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/9-12/features/F_Animals_in_Space_9-12.html)


Can fish swim in microgravity? Do bees make honey in space? Can ant farms exist on the Space Station? These are just a few of the questions scientists hope to answer by taking animals into space.

USDA Animal Welfare Information Center: Laboratory Animals in Space (http://www.nal.usda.gov/awic/newsletters/v6n2/6n2borko.htm)


This article presents an overview of the historical involvement of animals, describes the hardware and logistics of flying animal payloads on the space shuttle orbiters, and discusses future plans for animal experiments in space.

Wikipedia: Animals in space (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animals_in_space)


The last flight of Columbia in 2003 carried silkworms, golden orb spiders, carpenter bees, harvester ants, and Japanese killifish. Nematodes (C. elegans) from one experiment were found still alive in the debris after the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.

JustAFriend
2009-May-05, 01:42 AM
Sadly related story/followup:

Founder of Save the Chimps Sanctuary died Saturday

By staff report
Saturday, May 2, 2009

FORT PIERCE — Dr. Carole C. Noon, 59, the founder and director of Save the Chimps Sanctuary in St. Lucie County died Saturday of a recent illness.

Officials at the sanctuary had no comment but said they will be issuing a statement this week.

Noon moved to Fort Pierce in 1999 from Boynton Beach.

She founded Save the Chimps in 1997 to provide a sanctuary for chimpanzees that had been used in the early space program and in laboratory testing. The 150-acre facility in western St. Lucie County is now home to more than 160 chimpanzees.

http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2009/may/02/founder-save-chimp-sanctuary-died-saturday/

slang
2009-May-05, 08:02 AM
I'm wondering if we're still allowed to do that- send chimps, dogs, and other cute mammals into space.

Not to nitpick, but I've seen a few rather cute mammals in space over the last twenty years or so. Well trained too! Then again, cuteness is subjective, of course.

Nicolas
2009-May-05, 10:05 AM
I wouldn't use "cute mammal" in your opening sentence though. Just a hint.

PraedSt
2009-May-05, 10:45 AM
Not to nitpick, but I've seen a few rather cute mammals in space over the last twenty years or so. Well trained too! Then again, cuteness is subjective, of course.
Well trained huh? :)

PraedSt
2009-May-05, 10:56 AM
It's not like the International Space Station is animal free.
Hmm. Good point. There is an unfairly cute sentence in your first link:

Baby mammals have a hard time in space because they normally huddle for warmth-and in space, it's hard to huddle when bodies drift and float.Awwww....