Terrified Monkey Returns From Wasteful Trip to Space – PETA Comments
With the news of a monkey allegedly launched into space, Iran is repeating the wasteful and cruel mistakes that marked the darkest days of the space race. PETA urged Dr Hamid Fazeli, head of the Iranian Space Agency, to ground the misguided mission back in 2011, pointing out that primates are no longer sent into space by the American or European space agencies.
We are appalled by photos of a visibly terrified monkey crudely strapped into a restraint device in which he was allegedly launched into space by the Iranian Space Agency. Monkeys are highly intelligent and sensitive animals who not only are traumatised by the violence and noise of a launch and landing but also suffer when caged in a laboratory before and – if they survive – after a flight.
The European Space Agency (ESA) – which represents Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK – has a very active space exploration programme and has publicly stated that it “declines any interest in monkey research and does not consider any need or use for such results”. The ESA instead employs modern technology such as the state-of-the-art simulators to assess health risks for astronauts.
NASA ended the use of primates in space radiation experiments in the early 1990s, when it determined that the results were not relevant to human astronauts. In 2010, NASA’s plans to restart the programme were cancelled after PETA and others voiced strong ethical and scientific objections to the ill-advised plan.