PETA Urges Congolese Entrepreneur to Leave Guinea Pig on Earth and Join Human Space Race

For Immediate Release:
August 6, 2021

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo – This morning, PETA and its affiliate PETA Switzerland sent a joint letter to Jean-Patrice Keka Ohemba Okese, founder of the Swiss-backed Congolese space exploration enterprise Développement Tous Azimuts, urging him to cancel plans to send a guinea pig named Galaxionaut into space.

Keka attempted to send an animal into space in 2009, but the rocket went off course and smashed into a rock—and Kavira, the rat inside, was never found and is presumed to have died.

“The lives of vulnerable animals shouldn’t be placed at risk aboard terrifying rocket launches,” says PETA Vice President Shalin Gala. “PETA urges Développement Tous Azimuts to join the human space race by banning the use of animals in experiments and sending Galaxionaut the guinea pig to an approved sanctuary.”

Following vigorous PETA campaigns, NASA and the European Space Agency—which represents Switzerland among its 22 member states—ended space experiments on monkeys, and the agencies have acknowledged that results from these experiments were not relevant to human astronauts.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind