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Real Monkeyshines Create Havoc on Space Mission

October 07, 1987|From Reuters

MOSCOW — "Troublemaker," a monkey aboard a Soviet research satellite, is creating such havoc that the mission may have to be aborted, Tass press agency said today.

The primate, one of two aboard the craft, has freed his left arm from a restraining cuff and is playing with everything in reach.

Moscow Radio said he was pushing buttons on the satellite's control panel and playing with a cap fitted with electrodes attached to his head, jeopardizing research.

The animal's name is Yerosha, which means troublemaker. The name of his companion monkey, Dryoma, means sluggishness. Tass said Dryoma is slower and more even-tempered than his younger crew mate.

Tass said Soviet experts at ground control were considering bringing the satellite back to Earth before the completion of a 12-day international research program on the effects of weightlessness on living organisms.

Tass said ground controllers realized that the monkey had freed his paw--on the fifth day of the mission--when he appeared on a television monitor without a small label plate which was supposed to be attached to his cap.

"As it turned out, he had freed his left front paw from an armchair restraint and began happily exploring everything around him, including the cap tightly fixed to his head," it said.

"The label was evidently bothering Yerosha," Tass added.

"Analysis of the entire situation, data received from the ground experiment and humanitarian considerations . . . may at any time move the experts to decide on a descent," Tass said.

Yerosha's problems began during liftoff when his pulse rate increased to 200 beats a minute and his temperature soared before returning to normal, Tass said.

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