Why must space agencies continue to send animals into space to determine the effects of lengthy space travel on humans when we’ve had so many humans in space and for long periods of time? Recently, Russian scientists sent mice, gerbils, and geckos, among other animals, into space for a month to determine the prolonged effects of space exposure and weightlessness on living organisms. Many of the animals returned dead.
Humans have lived in space for much longer than 30 days; for example, Valeri Vladimirovich Polyakov, a Russian cosmonaut, spent 14 months aboard the Mir space station. Why then do we need to subject gerbils, geckos, and other animals to space travel when there are enough humans who have already experienced prolonged space living? When you think about it…sending animals into space is simply unnecessary.