Target: Igor Komarov –General Director of the Russian Federal Space Agency
Goal: Don’t send four monkeys to their certain deaths in outer space.
Russia has announced that it will send four rhesus monkeys on a suicide mission to Mars in 2017. During this mission, the monkeys will likely endure inhumane tests, dehydration, and emotional upset. We need to take action today to preserve the physical and emotional health of these exceptional animals.
Over the next two years, the monkeys will be put through cruel and painful tests to ready them for the mission. They will be strapped into restraint seats, deemed ‘primate chairs’ by researchers, and forced to work on a computer for three hours a day. They will be placed in chambers where they will endure space-like conditions. While humans experience this same training, animals do not have the ability to understand. Without this understanding, they cannot consent.
If the monkeys do make it to Mars, their future will be grim. Reentry is not possible. Mars is not conducive to human or animal life. The radiation levels are much higher than on earth and, if exposed over a long period of time, can cause great damage to cellular structure. Windstorms ravage the dusty surface. The planet reaches low temperatures of -67 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter. The journey itself is cause for concern. It takes six months to travel to Mars and, historically, animals have not fared well on long-range missions.
Take action by letting Russia know that we will not stand for the mistreatment of this already endangered animal.
Dear Mr. Komarov,
We are writing today on behalf of the four endangered rhesus monkeys who are scheduled to go to Mars. Space travel is painful and frightening for animals as they do not understand what is happening to them. The monkeys, Putin, Madvedev, Lavrov and Assad, are emotional creatures and will suffer emotionally and physically if you proceed with this mission. As an endangered species, these monkeys should not be subjected to the inhumane death associated with animal space travel.
One third of all animals sent to space have perished. Suffocation, fire, dehydration, poisoning, and hypothermia are just a few of the ways in which animals have died in space or while training for missions. While humans can consent to a mission, understanding the risks involved, animals cannot. Therefore, putting them through two years of cruel testing and experimentation, exposing them to zero gravity, and sending them to a planet where even the air can kill them is inhumane.
We demand that Russia halt its practice of launching animals into space and transplant these four endangered monkeys to a humane environment where they can thrive.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: badeendjah