Iran plans new monkey space launch

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Posted October 14, 2013
Iran is planning to send another live monkey into space within a month, a top space official said in remarks reported by media Sunday.

An image obtained from Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA) shows a man holding a monkey that was successfully launched into spa
An image obtained from Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA) shows a man holding a monkey that was successfully launched into space and brought back safely to Earth, on January 28, 2013

“The second live animal will be ready within a month to be sent into space,” said Hamid Fazeli, deputy head of Iran’s space organisation, the Jomhuri Eslami newspaper reported.

Iran in January claimed to have successfully launched a live monkey into space and to have brought it safely back to earth.

The experiment’s success was disputed, however, when a different monkey was presented to the media after the landing. An earlier attempt had failed in September 2011.

Iran’s space programme has prompted concern among Western governments, which fear Tehran is trying to master the technology required to deliver a nuclear warhead.

Iran denies it is seeking nuclear weapons or the means to deliver them.

Fazeli said the monkey would be sent into space via “a liquid-fuel launcher,” while refusing to set a “definite date” for the launch. Iran has delayed past launches without giving specific reasons.

Akbar Torkan, the interim chief of Iran’s space organisation, said on Sunday the delays are due to budget woes.

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