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    Mice and Gerbils Sent into Space

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    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

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    An animal carrying rocket launches into Space.

    Space missions are always exciting but a recent one was unique in some aspects.

    On April 19th, a spacecraft headed upward from the grounds of Kazakhstan, Central Asian. Inside of the rocket was a varied group of species.

    Filled with small animals, the crew is taking part in a test mission which will allow scientists to further study how space travel affects humans. The non-human travelers will be in orbit for a month.

    The Russian-built rocket contains 15 geckos, 45 mice-filled cages, 8 Mongolian gerbils and various other creatures.

    Researchers on the ground will be remotely monitoring the health and condition of the passengers.

    Last year, Caenorhabditis elegans worms were taken aboard a shuttle to the International Space Station. A team of researchers from Japan, France, the United States and Canada, noticed that after traveling in space, some of the toxic proteins that accumulate in aging muscle were suppressed.

    Also, the activity in a group of genes was reduced, which could lead to a longer lifetime for the worm.