Microgravity Flight - Accommodating Non-Human Primates
Spacelab Life Sciences-3 (SLS-3) was scheduled to be the first United States man-tended microgravity flight containing Rhesus monkeys. The goal of this flight as in the five untended Russian COSMOS Bion flights and an earlier American Biosatellite flight, was to understand the biomedical and biological effects of a microgravity environment using the non-human primate as human surrogate. The SLS-3/Rhesus Project and COSMOS Primate-BIOS flights all utilized the rhesus monkey, Macaca mulatta. The ultimate objective of all flights with an animal surrogate has been to evaluate and understand biological mechanisms at both the system and cellular level, thus enabling rational effective countermeasures for future long duration human activity under microgravity conditions and enabling technical application to correction of common human physiological problems within earth's gravity, e.g., muscle strength and reloading, osteoporosis, immune deficiency diseases.