(Mirror Daily, United States) – Sixty years ago, Laika became both the first dog and the first living creature to go out into space. The main purpose of its launching was to see how a living being would react in zero gravity, so that we would know how a human astronaut would react. Nowadays, scientists still send animals into the orbit, as they have a lot of things to learn from them.
Laika inspired researchers to send more animals into space
Before sending Laika into space, scientists thought mammals couldn’t survive in an environment with no gravity. Such a prospect put future astronauts in a lot of danger, so they decided to test their hypothesis by sending a non-human creature out there on the orbit.
The experiment showed mammals can survive in space, and other observations helped the researchers prepare the astronauts for space travel. However, there’s still a lot to learn about this, so they haven’t stopped sending animals on the orbit. This time, they opt for smaller creatures which are less likely to create an emotional bond with humans, so dogs like Laika are now out of the question.
These test animals show what changes the organism undergoes in zero gravity
Therefore, the purpose of animals in space is research, so scientists use the same test creatures as they use on Earth. These include flies, rodents, fish, and any kinds of small critters. Snails might be next on the list, and big rats should follow them soon enough.
It’s interesting to see how the animals behave before the launching, and how they cope when they first time have to deal with microgravity. Studies so far showed how they were able to adapt pretty quickly to the new environment, and what changes they suffered. This way, researchers know what treatments they should develop for astronauts, and how to reduce the risks they are exposed to in microgravity.
Image Source: Flickr
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