As if to counter the slap down issued by Iranian president Mahmoud Adhmadinejad in early February after he launched a 10-ft-long Kavoshgar-3 research rocket carrying -- a mouse, two turtles and some worms -- into space, the US has, apparently, raised the stakes.
Ahmadinejad said his feat showed "Iran could defeat the West in the battle of technology", according to MSNBC.
Oh yeah, well here's some good old American technology -- and animal welfare -- right back atcha.
NASA is planning to lauch mice and rats, not just for a joy ride, but for a stint on the International Space Station. The agency is currently looking for vendors who can provide living quarters for rats and mice on the orbiting micro city.
And not just any living quarters, these high tech wonders go above and beyond the Habitrail in the basement. They've got to have...
- Air and waste filtering systems (odor & particulate)
- Food and water delivery and measurement systems
- A cage lighting system in the visual and infrared spectrum
- Habitat control, data and video management systems
No mention of turtles or worms.