Iran to put a monkey into space: Report

Published: June 16, 2011
Iran has sent a rat, turtles and worms aboard its Kavoshgar-3 rocket in 2010.  PHOTO: FILE

Iran has sent a rat, turtles and worms aboard its Kavoshgar-3 rocket in 2010. PHOTO: FILE

TEHRAN: Iran plans to send a live monkey into space in the summer, the country’s top space official said after the launch of the Rassad-1 satellite, state television reported on its website on Thursday.

“The Kavoshgar-5 rocket will be launched during the month of Mordad (July 23 to August 23) with a 285-kilogramme capsule carrying a monkey to an altitude of 120 kilometres (74 miles),” said Hamid Fazeli, head of Iran’s Space Organisation.

In February, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad unveiled a space capsule designed to carry a live monkey into space, along with four new prototypes of home-built satellites the country hopes to launch before March 2012.

At the time, Fazeli touted the launch of a large animal into space as the first step towards sending a man into space, which Tehran says is scheduled for 2020.

Iran has sent a rat, turtles and worms aboard its Kavoshgar-3 rocket in 2010.

Fazeli also announced plans for the launch in October of the Fajr reconnaissance satellite with “a life span of a year and a half, and to be placed at an altitude of 400 kilometres,” the website reported.

On Wednesday, the Islamic republic successfully put its Rassad-1 (Observation-1) satellite into orbit 260 kilometres above the Earth.

Rassad-1, which orbits the Earth 15 times every 24 hours and has a two-month life cycle, will be used to photograph the planet and transmit images, media reports said.

Originally scheduled to launch in August 2010, the satellite was built by Malek Ashtar University in Tehran, which is linked to Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards.

Iran, which first put a satellite into orbit in 2009, has outlined an ambitious space programme amid Western concerns.

Western powers fear that Iran’s space agenda might be linked to developing a ballistic missile capability that could deliver nuclear warheads.

But Tehran has repeatedly denied that its contentious nuclear and scientific programmes mask military ambitions.

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Reader Comments (11)

  • Billoo Bhaya
    Jun 17, 2011 - 6:26PM

    Why don’t they send Ahmedinejad into space?? That would sort Iran’s problems. What has the poor monkey done to deserve this fate??Recommend

  • Asad
    Jun 17, 2011 - 10:41PM

    If the monkey is going to space who will run the country?Recommend

  • Najm
    Jun 18, 2011 - 3:37AM

    Good One, Asad.Recommend

  • Muslim
    Jun 18, 2011 - 7:04AM

    A great country under the rule of a great leader.
    Its a shame for the so called Arab Kings. They are actually not the follower of Islam but America. Recommend

  • Billoo Bhaya
    Jun 18, 2011 - 9:21AM

    Back home will become Planet of the Apes so it will be better alternative to the Humans?? It takes one Human to destroy an entire civilization. Monkeys have never done that. In fact the Delhi Police has a Brigade of Monkeys that were protecting athletes at the Games from the natives. Proves my point.QED.Recommend

  • Ahmed Ilyas
    Jun 26, 2011 - 7:37PM

    we need to send out monkies to space as well so our country improve too… if you know what i meanRecommend

  • Jun 27, 2011 - 1:08PM

    i amn’t interest in reading this article but what a lucky money who will go to spaceRecommend

  • Baqar
    Jun 30, 2011 - 3:03PM

    It is thr first step towards ultimate goal of sending a human in space. Instead of mocking this acheivement…we must appreciate itRecommend

  • Meekal Ahmed
    Jul 4, 2011 - 4:27AM

    sounds appropriate.Recommend

  • R
    Jul 9, 2011 - 9:14AM

    Good – now the real monekys can run the place.

    But on a serious note, I am not sure the monkey is happy. On one hand, I am sure the monkey is celebrating his escape from wannabe monkeys like Ahmedinijad; on the other hand he is thinking – darn, just when he was having fun, he needs to leave the circus of the absurd!


  • AAhmed
    Jul 10, 2011 - 6:44PM

    And the last step!


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