Author Topic: Mascot (pets) on the ISS/space  (Read 7778 times)

Offline Robb0

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Re: Mascot (pets) on the ISS/space
« Reply #20 on: 10/12/2023 09:33 am »
The cats get no briefing, only a few minutes of practice and are continually being batted about by the handlers.  I'd like to see how humans fair under the same circumstances.  Particularly the humans that planned that activity.
The results may, or may not, be very different if you give cats a few days to settle in, they are able to learn.
You do raise a good point. Results may indeed be different after a few days of acclimatation. Come to think of it, if you would put some carpet strips on the floor/walls of your space station (i.e. some surfaces that cats can grip with their claws), then perhaps the cats might even figure out how to walk relatively normally in zero-g.

And yes, the treatment of those cats in the parabolic flight video, while not inflicting permanent harm, was not exactly friendly. Like you said, the handlers were purposely batting the cats around. The video is all the way back from 1947, something of a different era as far as ethics is concerned. Can you imagine NASA repeating this experiment today with the same rough handling and the video being shown on the evening news? There would be instant social media campaigns condemning NASA (something like #MyCatSaysBoycotNASA).

Even if those would be done in current days - they'd never release footage 'cause of pure social media outrage, especially considering how quick data gets shared around.

That carpet idea sounds pretty interesting though, wonder how quick cats would adapt to such unfamiliar environment
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Offline Mondagun

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Re: Mascot (pets) on the ISS/space
« Reply #21 on: 10/18/2023 12:29 am »
That carpet idea sounds pretty interesting though, wonder how quick cats would adapt to such unfamiliar environment
Cats have of course shown excellent adaptability in general. After all they are able to successfully navigate a human-built world that they were never originally evolved for. So they may just surprise us.

I just found out that it has already been demonstrated that animals can learn to walk in zero-g when presented with the right gripping surface. Here is a video of mice on the ISS that started to demonstrate as the video editors call it "race-tracking" behaviour:


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