PETA Comes To Houston To Take On NASA

Commuters on the Gulf Freeway will get a new billboard to ponder sometime soon: "NASA: Take
a Giant Leap for Mankind. Stop Torturing Monkeys," it will say.

It comes courtesy of animal-rights group PETA, who we guess should get points for avoiding the "Houston, We Have A Problem" route.

PETA will be out by the Johnson Space Center at noon today, carrying signs calling for NASA to stop a series of experiments exposing monkeys to radiation.

The experiments are not being done at NASA, but that's not stopping PETA.

"PETA wants residents in NASA's hometown to know that the agency plans to squander nearly $2 million of taxpayer money on a cruel, pointless experiment," says PETA's Kathy Guillermo. "Blasting sensitive, social monkeys with radiation makes as much sense as planning a trip to the moon in a Wright Brothers airplane."

But taking a biplane to the moon makes no sense at.....oh, we see what you did there.

NASA has been doing the experiments for a while plans to do the experiments up in New York, as part of a project to determine the effects of radiation exposure to astronauts on long spaceflights.

"Obviously, the closer we get to man, the better," Eleanor Blakely, a biophysicist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory who studies radiation-induced cataracts, told Discovery News.

PETA isn't happy:

Monkeys in the experiment would be exposed to a harmful dose of radiation that would likely result in brain damage, cancerous tumors, loss of motor control, cognitive decline, or early death. Following the radiation exposure, these highly intelligent and social monkeys would spend the rest of their lives in a laboratory-isolated in cages and subjected to years of behavioral experiments.

The PETA billboard, we're told, will feature "a bloody version of the NASA logo."

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