NASA announced that it’s going to put a hold (hooray!) on the $1.75 million taxpayer-funded study that would expose 18 squirrel monkeys to doses of harmful radiation at New York’s Brookhaven National Laboratory. The plan was that after the radiation was administered, the primates would then reside at McLean Hospital in Belmont where they would be monitored for the the rest of their lives by Harvard Med School researchers. The amount of radiation would be equivalent to three years of space travel, and would help to determine safe levels for astronauts on lengthy missions.
Many celebs, including Sir Paul McCartney, have been outspoken in their campaigns against these experiments, and activist groups like PETA have applauded the decision to re-evaluate this line of research.
A statement put out by Brookhaven Labs, said that they were about to “undertake a comprehensive review of the agency’s current research and technology development plans to see how they align with the President’s plan for human spaceflight.”
While Michael Braukus, a NASA spokesman, stated, “A decision will be made when the review is completed, depending on whether it’s still deemed to be a value added experiment.”
Personally we don’t see the value in dousing live monkeys with huge levels of radiation, which seems to be animal cruelty to the extreme. For now we’re happy that this is on hold, and we hope it lasts indefinitely!
Thursday, January 13, 2011