Animals aren’t astronauts. Yet Russia is taking a giant step backward for science and ethics with a misguided mission to dispatch four monkeys to Mars.
There’s no reason to repeat the dark days of early space exploration, in which dogs, primates, and other animals died in horrific ways, including in crude experiments or all alone in a tiny spacecraft.
Primates are sensitive and intelligent animals, and they’re likely to experience extreme distress during the years of tests and training leading up to a mission. And if they’re eventually unwillingly sent hurtling through space on what may be a suicide mission, they’ll be terrified and unable to understand what is happening to them.
NASA, the European Space Agency and the Chinese National Space Administration all choose to advance space exploration without using primates. Russia needs to do the same.
Please sign our petition to be delivered to the Russian Embassy, urging the Russian Federal Space Agency to stop this ill-advised mission and send the monkeys to a sanctuary instead.