A new study of mice living aboard the International Space Station suggests such projects could reveal to support human voyages to Mars and beyond, scientists added.
"Since rodents develop and age much faster than humans, studying rodent model organisms allows scientists to study diseases that may take years or decades to develop in ," study lead author April Ronca, a space bioscientist at NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, told Space.com.
During the first two uses of this habitat, the NASA Rodent Research-1 mission, scientists recorded videos of 20 female mice for between 17 and 33 days.
The NASA Rodent Habitat was designed to house mice in groups, which reduces their stress levels and helps scientists monitor their social activity.
In these initial tests, the scientists found that mice in space were active and mobile throughout the experiment, exploring their habitat and engaging in the full range of behaviors typical of the species, such as feeding, grooming their fur and huddling together.