space: December 2009 Archives

Russia plans to send a monkey to Mars

275x250.jpgRussian authorities have revealed plans which could see them send monkeys to Mars.

After putting mon­­­keys into orbit in 1983 the Soviets moved on to human astronauts - but now the apes could be making a return.

While space experts say while the aim is to get humans on Mars, the length of the flight and effects of cosmic rays is said to make it impossible to plan for at the moment.

As a result the Institute of Experimental Pathology and Therapy - which supplied apes for the programme in the 1980s - has revealed plans for a monkey Mars mission.

It is likely to start with a ground-based simulation capsule mission for 520 days… and about 1,500 bananas.

275x250.jpgA beer, made from a line of barley seeds which once orbited the Earth aboard the International Space Station, has gone on sale in Japan.

Produced by Sapporobeer Brewery, the 'Space Beer' used the fourth generation of seeds that were on the Russian laboratory of the ISS for five months.

But makers say the beers - of which only 1,500 have been produced - taste just the same as normal terrestrial brews. The only thing astronomical about them is the £13 per bottle price tag.

The barley seeds were taken onboard the ISS as part of a project to investigate the feasibility of growing edible plants in space.

Boffins say there are no differences between earth or space barley… bringing astronauts dreams of space station home-brew one step closer.

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