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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russian Space Monkey Dies After Operation

combined reports

Multik, one of two Russian monkeys who completed a two-week space mission Tuesday, died after being operated on by scientists at a Moscow research center, Itar-Tass said Thursday.

The monkey died of a heart attack as it emerged from the anaesthetic, the deputy director of the medical-biological problems institute, Yevgeny Ilin, told the news agency.

Scientists had been taking samples of muscle and bone cells from Multik, Ilin said. Attempts by U.S., French and Russian scientists to revive the monkey failed, he said, saying its death was "the first such case."

Ilyin insisted that Multik's death Wednesday night was not a result of the fortnight he spent hurtling round the Earth in the Bion-11 research capsule with his fellow male macaque monkey, Lapik.

The U.S. space agency NASA put up half the cost of their $30 million mission, during which the monkeys' brains were wired up to electrodes as part of research into the effects of weightlessness on human cosmonauts.