Is Victory Near in NASA Monkey Radiation Experiments Campaign?
Documents recently released indicate that NASA may have to cancel its proposed radiation experiments involving live monkeys. Your e-mails can help stop the experiments.
While much of the document is blacked out, the information that remains gives hope that Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) director Samuel Aronson, Ph.D., and the Department of Energy (DOE) have made the right decision not to irradiate the monkeys. NASA recently announced that “the experiment is under review, and there’s a chance it might not happen.”
Last year, NASA announced a $1.75 million grant to Dr. Jack Bergman of McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass., to study the effects of deep-space radiation on human astronauts by dosing squirrel monkeys with heavy-ionizing radiation. The experiments would be conducted at Brookhaven National Laboratory, a Department of Energy facility.
NASA and the U.S. Air Force conducted radiation research on nonhuman primates for four decades, but this research was ended in 1990 because it failed to achieve its most basic goal: to advance the safety of space travel.
Biological, anatomical, and physiological differences between nonhuman primates and humans render this type of research ineffective. Squirrel monkeys, in particular, are a poor substitute for the human anatomy, given that these tiny creatures weigh on average only 1-2 pounds.