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PETA Protests NASA Monkey Radiation Experiment

Six members of the advocacy group PETA held a small protestoutside of NASA headquarters this morning, in response to radiation experimentsthe space agency is planning to conduct on monkeys.

The radiationexperiments will be performed on squirrel monkeys to test the potentialeffects of long-term space missions, such as a tripto Mars.

A media alert sent by the group said that protestors wouldbe wearing monkey masks while locked in small cages and carrying signs thatread, "No Tax $ for Animal Abuse," and "Stop Radiation Tests onMonkeys."

NASA spokesman Morrie Goodman said that NASA considers theresearch necessary to their mission and their responsibility to ensure thehealth of their astronauts. For possible future long-term missions, "space radiationis one of our most important problems," he told SPACE.com.

Goodman the research animals would be cared for inaccordance with appropriate guidelines. "Our welfare concerns are for bothanimals and humans," he said.

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