Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Fri Apr 26 02:01:51 UTC 2002

   Mice-stronauts?  Well, the Muppet Show had "Pigs in Space."  And a cow 
jumped over the moon.--ed.    
'Mice-stronauts' could lead way to Mars

April 25, 2002 Posted: 11:22 AM EDT 
By Richard Stenger
(CNN) -- An initiative to send the first mammals into space for the express 
purpose of procreation has enlisted the support of several prestigious 
universities and a wealthy patron, according to a private organization 
dedicated to Mars exploration. 

The Mars Society said it hopes to send a crew of mice into orbit for nearly 
two months, allowing the rodents enough time to reproduce a brood that 
matures into adulthood. 

The mission would place the "mice-stronauts" in an environment that simulates 
the gravity of Mars, about one third that of Earth, to help plan long-term 
manned trips to the red planet, according to the Colorado-based group. 

"This is really groundbreaking research," said Mars Society President Robert 
Zubrin. "There has been almost no research on artificial gravity in space and 
none concerning martian gravity." 

After its tour, the craft would return to Earth, and teams of scientists 
would study the mice and their offspring to obtain the first clues about life 
and development in reduced gravity. 
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