Life (I) (2017)
FAQAdd to FAQ (Coming Soon)
There are two different answers to this question. Let´s start with the more obvious one; Why is the rat physically restrained?
Answer: So that it doesn´t float around inside of the glass box, thus making testing a lot easier. Imagine sticking a floating weightless rat with a syringe, or even worse, trying to feed it to an alien life form. One would have trouble grasping it, risking that the rat would bite and puncture the protective glove.
Question version 2; Why do they keep a rat, tied up or not, on board the ISS?
Answer: Animal testing in space has been performed since the 1940´s. The year 2014 was also marked by the replenishment mission of the ISS named Space-X CRS-4, which brought 20 mice to the station, to study the effect of micro-gravity on these mammals. Small, inexpensive and relatively close biologically to humans, rodents have a short lifespan that enables the study of the equivalent of several years of human life in space in a much smaller time. Named Rodent Research-1, this NASA project has provided important information for the health of astronauts, that show long-term effects to the lack of terrestrial gravity, including changes to the muscle mass, the bone density and the heart. But these experiments will also improve human health on Earth, especially for people who are immobilized or suffering from osteoporosis.
To conclude; that is was the ISS is there for. Testing products and/or theories for governments and commercial interests. Even private visitors will now be allowed on the international space station with fees soaring to a staggering 35,000$ per person/night. Edit (Coming Soon)