NASA is building a Rodent Habitat module that will be used to send rodent astronauts to the International Space Station. The high-tech rodent cages will fly in August aboard an unmanned SpaceX Dragon cargo ship. They -- and their furry inhabitants -- will be part of an extensive study on the effects of weightlessness in prolonged space voyages.
More than 27 batches of rodents flew on the Space Shuttle between 1983 to 2011. But the next batch will be fitted with digs that would make their predecessors green with envy.
Each Rodent Habitat module can hold up to 10 mice or 6 rats and provide them with food, water, lighting and fresh air. They are also equipped with rods for the rodents to hold onto during flight. Data and video links allow scientists to keep a constant eye on the animals.
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