Iran Sends a Monkey Into Space

Don't worry, no animals were harmed; only puppets.

Published: March 18th 2011
in News » World

Monkey Astronaut

Just in time for the reading of the Book of Esther? Iran is extremely proud of its latest achievement – and why wouldn’t it be, after all, it’s not every nation that successfully launches a puppet into space. That’s right, as part of an experiment, the Iranians launched a rocket carrying a monkey doll acting as a passenger on-board its capsule. This comes after sending two turtles, some worms and a rat last year. Who’s in charge of Iran’s space program, Commander Dr. Doolittle?


According to the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) the rocket Kavoshgar-4 was launched on Tuesday about 120 kilometers into the atmosphere. The launch was another experiment in the country’s race to reach for the stars, a program that the West fears could be used to develop nuclear missile capability.


The rocket carried a capsule, which is capable of carrying a small animal into space, but for the time being, the Iranians believe that a puppet is sufficient. However, in the long-term the Islamic republic plans to send a manned craft into space within eleven years from now, or 2022. In addition, the IRNA published a picture of the ‘stunt double’ monkey -seated inside the rocket’s capsule- just to show they mean business.


This launch follows last year’s Kavoshgar-3 launch, when the Iranians launched two turtles, worms and even a rodent aboard the rocket. They observed the animals through cameras which were installed in the capsule.


Moreover, the US State Department has expressed “grave concerns” over Iran's space plan, claiming the technology could be used for surveillance or to develop long-range missiles capable of reaching Israel and Europe or even ballistic nuclear weapons when combined with Iran’s nuclear ambitions.


Iran insists both its space and nuclear programs are of peaceful and scientific nature, aimed only at improving communications technology and generating energy.

Related articles: (Iran, Space, Monkey, Rocket, )

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