What was the coolest part of the space race?
Was it that we, as a species, became the first in our planet’s history to leave the confines of its own gravity and began exploring first-hand the solar system, our galaxy and the universe which both spawned our existence and sustains our presence, or is it that we strapped some monkeys to some missiles and shot them into low-Earth orbit?
For me, it’s the monkeys. And if you haven’t been enthused about NASA’s dramatic proposal to send men to Mars by 2030, it’s probably for a simple reason: no monkeys.
That’s about to change, thanks to Russia, who is gonna send some monkeys to Mars, and maybe colonize that bitch.
Say it with me: Monkey. Planet.
Just kidding, they’re gonna die. But the four rhesus monkeys undertaking the mission will be heroes. Visionaries. Ape-stronauts.
According to the Daily Mail, these monkeys will be space ready in just two years. They are currently learning to use joysticks. Because maybe the monkeys are going to fly the plane??
All four of the rhesus macaques in this latest study were chosen for their cognitive abilities and their quick-learning skills, explained the scientists.
Each day a team, led by Inessa Kozlovskaya, trains the monkeys to control a joystick and hit a target highlighted by a cursor.
When they complete the task successfully they are rewarded with a sip of juice.
Delicious juice! After joysticks, it’s on to puzzles. In case an Apollo 13 sitch should happen.
Once they have mastered this task the macaques will be trained to solve simple mathematical tasks and puzzles.
At the end of their training the creatures should be capable of completing a daily schedule of tasks on their own.
The scientists are hoping this will be achieved by 2017.
Then it’s six months to Mars, followed by I guess slowly starving to death. Godspeed, brave monkeys. Godspeed.