Saturday, October 15, 2011

FARS: Iran Fails Attempt to Launch Monkey Into Space

Safir-2 rocket launch in February 2009
An Iranian attempt to launch a rocket carrying a live monkey into space in September has failed.

The mission, announced last summer in the website of the Iranian Space Agency, consisted in launching a capsule with a life support system and reentry capability on top of a Kavoshgar-5 rocket to an altitude of 120 kilometers for a 20-minute sub-orbital flight.

Deputy Science Minister Mohammad Mehdinejad-Nouri has reportedly commented: ”The Kavoshgar-5 rocket carrying a capsule with a live animal (a monkey) was launched during Shahrivar (Note: Shahrivar is an Iranian calendar month spanning August 23 to September 22). However, the launch was not publicised as all of its anticipated objectives were not accomplished.”

The launch of a live animal into space was considered “strategic, and a priority,” by the Iranian government.

In 2010, the country launched a Kavoshgar-3 rocket carrying a rat, two turtles and a worm into space.

According Hamid Fazeli, head of Iran’s Space Organisation, the plan to fly live monkeys has been put on hold indefinitely: ”One cannot give a set date for this project and as soon as our nation’s scientists announce the readiness (of the project) it will be announced,” he said.

The Iranian republic, which put a satellite into orbit successfully in 2009, is pursuing an ambitious space program, which poses concerns in the Western world for possible links to the development of nuclear capable ballistic missiles.

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