Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Russia send animals into space

Posted: 22 April 2013. Updated: 22 April 2013


According to press reports, on 19 April 2013, a Russian space mission was launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Central Asia, with mice, gerbils, geckos, fish and snails on board.

The unwilling participants are to orbit 357 miles above Earth for the next month, during which their health will be monitored from the ground.

The project is being run by Russia’s Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos, in collaboration with NASA and an international team of scientists. The purpose is to study how long term space travel affects the animals. According to the reports, one of the experiments that NASA is involved with focuses on how microgravity and radiation affect sperm motility in mice.

Although the animals are expected to return to Earth alive, if they do survive the trip and re-entry, they will be killed for analysis – like so many other animals in past decades.

Take action

  • Please urge Roscosmos and NASA not to use animals for space research. Email Roscosmos at and NASA at
  • Read about ADI’s campaign against NASA’s use of animals in space experiments here
  • Read how the NAVS opposed Iran’s mission to send a monkey into space here

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