Plans to send rats in space for longer duration: NASA

Rats have flown to space before but now NASA is planning to send them again to the space for longer periods.

Last Updated: Aug 22, 2014, 16:40 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau

New York: Rats have flown to space before but now NASA is planning to send them again to the space for longer periods.

Space.com reported that the new ``rat-stronauts`` will stay between 30 and 90 days, depending on how soon they can be transported on the roundtrip.
Chief scientist for the International Space Station (ISS), Julie Robinson says that it will allow animals to be studied for longer periods of time on space station missions.

She further said that launching rats on for the experiment are preferable to mice, which are smaller and require less food, because rats` neurocognitive functioning is similar to that of humans.

Of the 35 or so studies where rats have gone into space, only a few have gone for more than two weeks.
Investigators are pushing for more life science experiments on the ISS to better understand the effects of microgravity on living organisms.