Netflixs new comedy series Space Force is exposing animal cruelty.
The series, which debuted last month, centers on a group of people that have been tasked with creating the sixth branch of the U.S. Armed Forces: the U.S. Space Force. It satirizes President Trumps launch of a new military branch of the same name in December 2019 with the passing of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act.
The series stars actors Steve Carell, John Malkovich, Lisa Kudrow, and musician Tawny Newsome, among others.
In the second episode of season oneentitled Save Epsilon 6!the series tackles the issue of using animals in space travel. (Spoiler ahead!)
In the episode, two animalsa dog named Theodore and a chimpanzee named Marcusare sent into space for a promotional mission of obtaining cute footage. The duo, who were abandoned in space after completing their mission, are then tasked with making repairs to the spacecraft.
Although its fictional, animals have been sent into space in the past.
In 1947, fruit flies became the first creatures launched into space.
In 1949, a Rhesus monkey named Albert II became the second lab monkey (there is little documentation on his predecessor, Albert I) to be sent into outer space. According to NASA, Albert II reached an altitude of 83 miles before dying on impact.
Albert II isnt the only animal to die for the sake of space travel. Before humans went to space, scientists sent a number of animalsincluding dogs, chimpanzees, and other monkeysto determine whether or not it was possible to send a living organism safely into the great unknown.
In 1957, Laika the dog became the first animal to actually orbit the earth aboard the Soviet Unions Sputnik 2. She died during the flight.
Of the early flights using animals, Julie Robinson, NASAs chief scientist for the International Space Station, told Space.com: We didnt even know if humans would be able to digest their food [in space].
She continued: We were concerned that humans might suffocate on the contents of [their] own stomachs if it all went floating up.
While its now clear that humans can travel in space without suffocating on their food, animals are still being used as test subjects and subjected to experiments to study how outer space affects the human body. In 2018, the SpaceX Drage spacecraft launched with 20 mice on board in a study to determine how a creatures physiology and sleep schedule responds to the stress of being in space.
The use of animals in space has been a point of contention for animal rights advocates. Many animal rights groups, including Humane Society International (HSI), have launched campaigns urging for the end of such animal experimentation.
On the use of animals for space research, Andrew Rowan, HSIs president, told the Dodo: Its not necessary.
[They are] a waste of time, intellectual capacity and money. There are masses of data in the published literature on the effects of space on living creatures, he continued. This is about bragging rights.
Netflixs Space Force Just Exposed Animal Cruelty In Space Travel
Netflixs new series Space Force exposes animal cruelty in space travel research. Many animals have died due to space experimentation.
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