Mice and men: space gerbils blaze trail for humans to Mars Mars Daily

Ten gerbils took off from the Russian-run Baikonur space centre in Kazakhstan on Friday for a 12-day voyage to test the possible effects of a human mission to Mars, an official said Friday. A Foton-M spaceship with the rodents on board took off on a Soyuz rocket, mission official Anfisa Kazakova told AFP by telephone.
The rocket is to include a cage with 10 rodents with the aim of studying the physiological and biological effects of long-term flights, she said.