Persian excursionPersian excursion

Iran launches monkey into space

Successful flight seen as precursor to manned space exploration by the Islamic Republic

A happy monkey. (Illustrative photo credit: CC BY oandresilva, Flickr)
A happy monkey. (Illustrative photo credit: CC BY oandresilva, Flickr)

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranian state TV says the country has successfully sent a monkey into space, in what’s described as another step toward Tehran’s goal of a manned space flight.

Monday’s report said the monkey was sent up in a Pishtam, or Explorer, rocket to a height of 120 kilometers (72 miles). It gave no other details on the timing or location of the launch, but said the monkey returned safely.

Iran has said it seeks to send an astronaut into space as part of its ambitious aerospace program. In 2010, Iran said it launched a rocket into space carrying a mouse, turtle and worms.

The US and its allies worry that technology from the space program could also be used to develop long-range missiles that could potentially be armed with nuclear warheads.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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