Monkey are being used in experiments in the United States aimed at overcoming calcium loss in astronauts and bedridden patients.
GV Spacelab aircraft in flight and landing (2 shots)
SV Monkey in cage at Ames Research Centre, California, U.S.A.
SV Monkey strapped in chair (2 shots)
CU Scientist holding monkey's foot and attending to monkeys (3 shots)
CU Dr. Don Young speaking to newsman
SV Monkeys in chairs (3 shots)
"Spacelab will be loaded into the shuttle, starting 1981. For a week the experiments will orbit the earth. One of its missions will be to prepare man for longer, more hazardous space trips. A Macaque monkey will be on board so that scientists can study what happens to its body calcium. These Macaques at Ames have been strapped to a chair since December in an earth-bound simulation of weightlessness. When astronauts spent 83 days in space aboard skylab, they lost enough calcium from the bones of their legs to cause worry. The monkeys are losing calcium too because they are inactive. Feeding them calcium doesn't help, and neither does exercise. Scientists would like to learn how to solve a problem that could limit man's time in outer space. What about people who aren't in space. It sounds like it might have some application there as well."
"Yes, there are a lot of bed-ridden people who lose calcium. There are people who take large amounts of corticoid hormones who lose calcium. So the general problem of calcium loss does have implications in a clinical sense."
"In Houston it's been dubbed King Kong. These are merely monkeys numbers 13 and 19 and in a month, they'll be let up and Dr. Young will study how long it takes for their bone calcium to return to normal. This is Spencer Michels reporting from the Ames Research Centre in California."
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Background: Monkey are being used in experiments in the United States aimed at overcoming calcium loss in astronauts and bedridden patients. The experiments are being conducted at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) research base at Ames in California, in conjunction with a simulated space laboratory in Houston, Texas. Spencer Michels of NBC News reports on the tests taking place now and those planned in the future.