Iran acknowledged its attempt to send a live monkey into space last month was a failure. Iran space program pursues human spaceflight capability within a decade.
Tehran / NationalTurk – “The Kavoshgar-5 rocket carrying a capsule with a live animal (a monkey) was launched during Shahrivar,” the Iranian muslim calendar month spanning August 23 to September 22, Deputy Science Minister Mohammad Mehdinejad-Nouri has declared according to the ISNA news agency.
“However, the launch was not publicised as all of its anticipated objectives were not accomplished,” Mehdinejad-Nouri stated.
Sadly, those unfulfilled objectives cost the life of the test subject, the monkey. When the capsule failed to reach its destination, the Iranian space monkey perished.
Space Monkey Launches since Cold War Era
The idea of launching monkeys into space is not new. During the Cold War, both the U.S. and Soviet Union used animals, including chimpanzees and dogs, in rocket launches in order to test their abilities to blast a living thing into space and bring it back alive
Iranian Deputy Science Minister stated the launch of a live animal into space was “strategic, and a priority,” and expressed hope that future launches would attain more of the objectives set. On October 3, Iran indefinitely postponed plans to send a live monkey into space, without giving any reasons.
“One cannot give a set date for this project and as soon as our nation’s scientists announce the readiness (of the project) it will be announced,” said Hamid Fazeli, head of Iran’s Space Organisation.
The project envisaged launching a capsule with life support using the Kavoshgar-5 rocket to an altitude of 120 kilometres (75 miles) for a 20-minute sub-orbital flight. The project was unveiled in February by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
At the time, Hamid Fazeli named the launch of a large animal as the first step towards sending a man into space, which Tehran says is scheduled for 2020.
In mid-March, Iran announced the successful launch of an earlier version of the rocket, Kavoshgar-4, carrying a test capsule designed to house a monkey during the time in the space.
Iran Space Program : Science for science or military ambitions ?
Iran has already sent small animals into space — a rat, turtles and worms — aboard a capsule carried by its Kavoshgar-3 rocket in 2010.
The Islamic republic, which first put a satellite into orbit in 2009, has outlined an ambitious space programme amid Western concerns the rocket technology may be linked to developing ballistic missiles that could deliver nuclear warheads.
Tehran has repeatedly denied that its nuclear and scientific programmes mask military ambitions.Iran’s space program has sparked some concerns from the West over the possibility that Iranian space capabilities could be turned into potential ballistic missiles for nuclear warheads. The Islamic republic has denied military motives for its space program.
But Iranian officials say Iran is hoping to launch a human into space by 2020 and land an astronaut on the moon by 2025.