To explore reproduction in zero gravity, China is sending monkeys into space
The experiment will be carried out in the most significant module of the space station, which is primarily utilized for life sciences investigations, according to South China Morning Post, which cited Chinese scientists Zhang Lu, who oversaw scientific research for the space state.
After examining smaller organisms like fish and snails, Zhang claimed that “some research involving mice and macaques (monkeys) will now be carried out to observe how they grow or even reproduce in space.
” He thinks that by conducting these studies, we will learn more about how organisms adjust to microgravity and other space settings.
According to the research, specialists did note that there are still a lot of challenges associated with doing such studies on animals with complicated life forms, such as rats and primates.
They pointed out that during the Cold War, Soviet scientists were able to train a few mice to overcome their physical limitations and participate in sexual activity for an 18-day space mission.
Nevertheless, none of them gave birth after, and there were no indicators of pregnancy.
According to Kehkooi Kee, a professor at Tsinghua University’s school of medicine, the difficulties of conducting a life sciences experiment in space rose exponentially with the size of the animals used.
According to the publication, he continued, “The astronauts will need to feed them and handle the waste.”
The absence of gravity, according to some earlier ground studies, may harm testicles and other reproductive systems, causing test animals’ levels of the sex hormone to significantly fall.
Kee went on to add that “these tests will be important” because “bigger animals, notably monkeys, shared more similarities with humans and because more governments are aiming for long-term colonization in orbit around the Moon or Mars.”