Macaques Travel to MARS in 2017
Just how clever does someone have to be to be an astronaut or cosmonaut? Very clever. Man has landed on the Moon way back in 1969 and now at last, he is thinking about going to Mars. But first the well trained and clever monkeys are going there first. That is one small step for man a bigger step for monkey.
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.
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. Dr Kozlovskaya said the main goal is to teach monkeys to perform a particular range of tasks which they will be able to remember.’What we are trying to do is to make them as intelligent as possible so we can use them to explore space beyond our orbit,’ she said. The team is also hoping that the space monkeys will be able to train others and integrate them into the team.