October 13, 2011
Iran’s Attempt At Space Monkey Launch Fails
The Iranian government revealed Wednesday that they failed to launch a live monkey into space atop a live rocket, this was their first step into sending a man into space.
Deputy Science Minister Mohammed Mehdinijad-Nouri told the ISNA news agency, “The Kavoshgar-5 rocket carrying a capsule with a live animal (a monkey) was launched during Shahrivar (an Iranian month that runs from August 23 to September 22). However, the launch was not publicized as all of its anticipated objectives were not accomplished,” the Telegraph reports.The project is indefinitely postponed without giving any reasons. Hamid Fazeli, the head of Iran´s Space Organization said, “One cannot give a set date for this project and as soon as our nation´s scientists announce the [project´s] readiness it will be announced.”
The project, announced by President Mahmoud Amehdinijad in February was envisioned for the Kavoshgar-5 rocket to have a capsule with life support. The launch was at that time touted, by Fazeli, to be the first step in sending a man into space. The rocket was to be launched to an altitude of 75 miles for a 20 minute sub-orbital flight.
The Iranians successfully launched a capsule containing small animals including a rat, turtles and worms, aboard a Kavoshgar-3 rocket in 2010. As recently as March they successfully launched the Kavoshgar-4 rocket that carried a test capsule designed to house the monkey.
According to the Telegraph, Iran is a new contender in the space race. They successfully placed their first satellite in orbit in 2009 and have outlined an ambitious space program, putting a man in space by 2020. Western countries fear, though, that the rocket technology that Iran is developing will be used to help design ballistic missiles that could deliver nuclear warheads. The Iranian government denies that its scientific programs are to be used for military technology.
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