Iran's monkey does not make it to space

Published: October 12, 2011
Iran admitted that its test capsule carrying a monkey in a long line of tests meant to gear up to a full manned launch had failed. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Iran admitted that its test capsule carrying a monkey in a long line of tests meant to gear up to a full manned launch had failed. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

TEHRAN: Iran acknowledged as a failure Wednesday its attempt to send a live monkey into space last month – touted as its first step towards launching a man into space.

“The Kavoshgar-5 rocket carrying a capsule with a live animal (a monkey) was launched during Shahrivar,” an Iranian calendar month spanning August 23 to September 22, Deputy Science Minister Mohammad Mehdinejad-Nouri was quoted as saying by the ISNA news agency.

“However, the launch was not publicised as all of its anticipated objectives were not accomplished,” Mehdinejad-Nouri told reporters.

He said the launch of a live animal into space was “strategic, and a priority,” and expressed hope that future launches would attain more of the objectives set.

On October 3, Iran indefinitely postponed plans to send a live monkey into space, without giving any reasons.

“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,” said Hamid Fazeli, head of Iran’s Space Organisation.

The project envisaged launching a capsule with life support using the Kavoshgar-5 rocket to an altitude of 120 kilometres (75 miles) for a 20-minute sub-orbital flight.

The project was unveiled in February by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

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

In mid-March, Iran announced the successful launch of an earlier version of the rocket, Kavoshgar-4, carrying a test capsule designed to house the monkey.

Iran has already sent small animals into space — a rat, turtles and worms — aboard a capsule carried by its Kavoshgar-3 rocket in 2010.

The Islamic republic, which first put a satellite into orbit in 2009, has outlined an ambitious space programme amid Western concerns the rocket technology may be linked to developing ballistic missiles that could deliver nuclear warheads.

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

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Reader Comments (30)

  • M.Akthar
    Oct 12, 2011 - 9:58PM

    & they killed a poor monkey. :(


  • Aamir
    Oct 12, 2011 - 10:01PM

    Poor monkey, may his soul rest in peace (space)


  • GarbarGotala
    Oct 12, 2011 - 10:07PM

    ha ha ha ha ..this sounds sooo wrong at sooo many levels ! :D BIG LIKE!


  • Bipul Rajput
    Oct 12, 2011 - 10:24PM

    “Iran’s monkey does not make it to space” – who says ET lacks humour.


  • Indian USA
    Oct 12, 2011 - 10:27PM

    Iran has already sent small animals into space — a rat, turtles and worms!!!!!!!!!


  • maqbool
    Oct 12, 2011 - 10:29PM

    Just when I thought we only laugh at India’s failures. Go Iran go, try and try untill you succeed. And then try for the even better ones. Atleast you tried. :)


  • Sane
    Oct 12, 2011 - 10:30PM

    and they say theocracy can’t make scientific advancements? ?


  • narayana murthy
    Oct 12, 2011 - 10:51PM

    The title of the article is so funny and so apt!!!

    And for those who say that “who says that theocracy can’t make scientific advancements”, note that, Iran is a theocracy. However, Iran is not a theocracy, when it comes to education. Iran has a secular education and not a religious education like in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Mirza
    Oct 12, 2011 - 10:56PM

    Sounds like monkey business to me.


  • narayana murthy
    Oct 12, 2011 - 10:59PM

    Comeon ET…u curtailed my comment.

    I specifically said that “A superior Sunni country will find it difficult to follow an inferior Shia country”.

    And the irony was obvious there. Youn could have published it to enlighten the vast majority of Pakistanis that they are in no way superior or purER or GhairatmandER to others!


  • omg!
    Oct 12, 2011 - 11:06PM

    Gud Luck!


  • Babloo
    Oct 12, 2011 - 11:06PM

    I dont think scientific tests should be mocked. May be if they were technologically mature they would also follow more mature foreign policy and not live in perpetual fear.
    Sorry for the monkey. Hopefully it was tranquilized before it was sent on a one way tour.


  • omg!
    Oct 12, 2011 - 11:13PM

    Yahood e Israel and Islami Jamhoriya e Iran. Examples of theocracy.


  • Oct 12, 2011 - 11:27PM

    Iran had a monkey,
    Not a splice.

    Laiqa was the first ‘kutti’ in space, anyway!
    Who killed her?

    Democracy or Advantage?


  • Maryam
    Oct 13, 2011 - 12:33AM

    Failures are always part of space technologies. US has had many human fatalities let alone animal ones. Daily tens of thousands of animals are killed in scientific experiments around the world, and this monkey if it was killed is just one of them. Though since there is no statement that the monkey was killed, it is most probable that the rocket did not reach the orbit but the monkey survived in the parachuted capsule.
    Also we must not forget that according to western sources, Iran has the world’s fastest growth rate in science and technology. So go Iran, and expand the scientific programs. Failures are just part of the package and will make a nation more prepared for future.


  • let there be peace
    Oct 13, 2011 - 1:16AM

    Shaheed monkey sacrificed himself for a greater cause – intercontinental ballistic missiles for Islamic Republic of Iran. He will go to Jannat.
    They should try sending goats and chicken. If it fails, they can always eat it.


  • Lobe
    Oct 13, 2011 - 7:58AM

    Why is ET not reporting India’s successful PSLV launch yesterday.


  • Maxwell
    Oct 13, 2011 - 8:07AM

    @Maqbool…what do you want to laugh at India’s failure…lolz…now is the time for your to cry for your country. India has launched 4 satellites yesterday to space with one rocket PSLV C-18….it is just that Tribune Express did not report it, so that you are not too disappointed at Pakistan. To add to your information, two of these satellites were from abroad, one french and one from Luxembourg. Till now, India has already put 26 satellites from abroad into orbit and is respected competitor to US in this business. One of these satellites was also from Israel. Much of Islamic world feared it to be a spy satellite…:) Recommend

  • Gautam
    Oct 13, 2011 - 9:27AM

    @Lobe: Do you think they have digested this news of successful launch by now?Any ways it will take a while for them to come to their senses. :-) if something could have gone wrong they would have made that as headlines and pakis started making fun of genuine efforts as they are doing for Iran’s launch. I want to ask all sensible pakis why not appriciate the effort and encaurge your own people to achive atleast some thing constructive.


  • MAD
    Oct 13, 2011 - 10:00AM

    Had the Iranian launch been successful it would not have been reproted as well. Our media in pakistan only reports negatives.


  • vasan
    Oct 13, 2011 - 10:13AM

    Maxwell : You missed out the details of other two satellites, One from an IIT (my alma mater) and the other from SRM university near Chennai ( a private university). That shows where India is going
    Maqbool : You are a bunch of contradiction. Laughing at India’s failures and appreciating Iran’s failure for trying. Pl remember, if you try, you will succeed and failures are stepping stone to success. Being obsessed with the “ill being” of India is taking Pakistan deep into the pit of “Strategic death” pretty fast. With help from people like you God bless you.


  • kashan
    Oct 13, 2011 - 11:25AM



  • Tony Singh
    Oct 13, 2011 - 1:16PM

    Yet to find a country (other than Pakistan ofcourse) which suceeds first time everytime. Iran Better luck next time. For lesser countries (the rest of the world other than Pak) success can only be built on failures and learning from them.


  • MD
    Oct 13, 2011 - 2:00PM

    If given a free choice, ordinary Iranians would have put Ahmadinejad in the capsule instead..


  • oye-ye-oye
    Oct 13, 2011 - 2:42PM

    ” Iran’s monkey does not make it to the space”

    Yes we know- he is still in Tehran!!!


  • Naz Ebr
    Oct 13, 2011 - 4:52PM

    I thought the news was all about the monkey!


  • One God for every one
    Oct 13, 2011 - 5:38PM


    it means sunni theocracy don’t make


  • One God for every one
    Oct 13, 2011 - 5:50PM

    i like your comment; 52 out of 53 PSLV launches also successful.


  • Monkey
    Oct 13, 2011 - 11:45PM

    “The project envisaged launching a capsule with life support using the Kavoshgar-5 rocket to an altitude of 120 kilometres (75 miles) for a 20-minute sub-orbital flight.”

    I could not stop laughing……This is Iran’s idea of going to space!!!!


  • Farhan
    Oct 14, 2011 - 8:47PM

    I agree with Naryana that Iran is very smart when it comes to secular and higher education. Pakistan should also invest on secular and higher education much more like Musharraf regime.


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