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Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Iran's space agency wants to launch a monkey into space this month

                                            (Credit: Vahidreza Alaei/AFP/Getty)

     Iran's Space Agency (ISA) has announced plans to launch a living rhesus monkey into space, the first step to send a human. But can they bring the animal back? A previous attempt to launch a ship with a monkey, proved to be a failure in October 2011. Now the task is on track, with a launch scheduled for mid August 2012, after the Islamic month of Ramadan ends.

     This is not the first time Iran has shown interest in launching animals into orbit. In 2010, Kavoshgar-3 of the ISA, carried worms, a mouse and two turtles as passengers. Moreover, the animals were returned to Earth alive.

Iran's interest in space exploration, has captured international world attention, because of the speed and secrecy they kept. Iran launched three satellites for several years now, and a fourth will be released in the next few months. Iran is the new new country that puts domestic satellites into orbit, and the sixth to send animals into space.
     Iran proved to be serious with space programs, more than North Korea, which could use this as a pretext to legitimize the construction of ballistic missiles.

The first animal in orbit ever, was a dog named Laika, which was launched in 1957 on Sputnik 2, but did not survive the flight. Without animal testing in the early days of human space programs, countries would have suffered great losses of human beings.


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