THE US is to send a monkey strapped to a dog on a space mission, it has emerged.
Following Iran’s claims to have sent a monkey into orbit, president Obama said he is determined that the US leads the world in entertaining, morally dubious animal space travel.
The monkey-on-dog astronaut team will consist of a three-year-old collie called Heston and Peanut, a Capuchin monkey wearing a cowboy hat and a leather jacket with the American flag on its back.
The duo will travel in a specially designed rocket with the control room and feeding area connected by an assault course featuring jumps, tunnels and a little castle with a moat.
A NASA spokesman said: “There’s not much point in having a monkey on a dog unless you get them to run around a bit.
“Also this is important research into how zero gravity affects a collie’s ability to complete a mini-equestrian course with a monkey dressed as a cowboy on its back.”
However animal rights campaigners have responded angrily to the project, producing a list of 498 ways in which it is against nature.
American Tom Booker said: “My worry is that Iran will retaliate with something even more spectacular, for example a spaceship containing a really good flea circus with a gecko ringmaster.
“With the economy being how it is, I’m not sure we should risk an increasingly flamboyant novelty-based animal space race.”