Mice, gerbils perish in Russia space flight | Bangkok Post: news

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Mice, gerbils perish in Russia space flight

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A number of mice and eight gerbils sent into space in a Russian capsule destined to find out how well organisms can withstand extended flights perished during their journey, scientists said Sunday as the month-long mission touched back down on Earth. 

A Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket, carrying an Bion-M capsule is seen on the launch pad a Russia's Baikonur cosmodrome on April 18, 2013. The Russian capsule filled with 45 mice and 15 newts along with other small animals has returned from a month's mission in orbit with data scientists hope will pave the way for a manned flight to Mars.

Most of the 45 mice sent into orbit -- along with the gerbils and 15 newts -- died on the mission, which nevertheless returned with data that scientists hope will pave the way for a manned flight to Mars.

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