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Rats to Embark on Monthslong Mission in Space
August 22, 2014

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NASA is planning to send some rats into space, to live for awhile.

Sending rats (or other animals for that matter) is nothing new.

Animals have been into space on dozens of missions. Space shuttle missions have carried animals into space for up to a couple of weeks.

This time, however, the mission plan calls for the rodents to live on the International Space Station for up to 90 days, so that scientists can study how the rats' minds and bodies respond to spending that amount of time in less-than-Earth gravity.

The discontinuation of the Space Shuttle program has meant that cargo heading to the International Space Station travels on spacecraft belonging to other countries, such as Russia, or to private companies, such as SpaceX. And it is a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft that is planned to carry the rats to the International Space Station.

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