Iran to put a monkey into space: report

June 16th, 2011 in Astronomy & Space / Space Exploration
A picture released by Iranian Defence Ministry shows the Saffir (Ambassador) rocket carrying Iran's Rassad-1 (Observation-1) satellite ready to launch into space, putting it in orbit 260 kms (163 miles) above the Earth on June 15. Iran plans to send a live monkey into space in the summer, the country's top space official said after the launch of Rassad-1, state television reported on its website.


A picture released by Iranian Defence Ministry shows the Saffir (Ambassador) rocket carrying Iran's Rassad-1 (Observation-1) satellite ready to launch into space, putting it in orbit 260 kms (163 miles) above the Earth on June 15. Iran plans to send a live monkey into space in the summer, the country's top space official said after the launch of Rassad-1, state television reported on its website.

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 Organisation.

In February, President unveiled a 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 sent small animals into space -- 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 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 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 capability that could deliver nuclear warheads.

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

(c) 2011 AFP

"Iran to put a monkey into space: report." June 16th, 2011. http://phys.org/news/2011-06-iran-monkey-space.html