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The monkey that was sent into space today  (Source:
A monkey was launched in a capsule called Pishgam (Pioneer)

Iran said it successfully sent a monkey into sub-orbital flight today, which is only the first step in its space plans toward a manned mission in 2020.

According to Iran Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi, a monkey was launched in a capsule called Pishgam (Pioneer) to an altitude of 75 miles. The monkey returned safely and the capsule was intact.

"This success is the first step towards man conquering the space and it paves the way for other moves," said Vahidi. "Today's successful launch follows previous successes we had in launching (space) probes with other living creatures (on board). The monkey, which was sent in this launch, landed safely and alive and this is a big step for our experts and scientists."

The Islamic republic has sent other animals into space, such as worms, rats and turtles, but this is the first time a monkey was sent successfully on a sub-orbital flight. An attempt was made with a monkey in 2011, but the mission failed for reasons unknown.

However, it successfully sent three satellites into orbit, including Omid in 2009, Rassad in 2011 and Navid in 2012.

Iran hopes to send a human to space in 2020. 

This will likely make Western nations nervous, as they've accused Iran of secretly developing ballistic missiles. The same technology used for the rockets can be used for ballistic missiles.

In July of last year, China completed its first manned space docking using the Shenzhou 9 spacecraft and the Tiangong 1 space module. It launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gansu province in northern China.

Source: Google

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Not the same
By Shadowself on 1/28/2013 9:38:30 PM , Rating: 2
This will likely make Western nations nervous, as they've accused Iran of secretly developing ballistic missiles. The same technology used for the rockets can be used for ballistic missiles.
Yes, the general concepts are the same. HOWEVER, the accuracies required for long range ballistic missiles is far, far more stringent than is required for either suborbital or orbital flights. They really aren't in the same league. For example, China had ICBMs and launch vehicles of a wide range of sizes -- including launch vehicles capable of sending large satellites to geostationary orbit that they were providing to U.S. customers. However, it was not until the late 90s that their ICBM accuracy became good enough to be a real concern.

Truly accurate long range ballistic missiles can be placed with great accuracy. The accuracy required for suborbital or orbital launches will get you within several dozen city blocks at best. With this kind of accuracy you could shoot for a military base next to a city and hit the city instead. IF you don't care about that kind of collateral damage then suborbital or orbital accuracy requirements are all you need.

RE: Not the same
By ZorkZork on 1/29/2013 4:24:56 AM , Rating: 2
With nukes you don't need much precision ...

RE: Not the same
By xtort107 on 1/29/2013 7:55:39 AM , Rating: 2
We have missile defense, you have to be VERY accurate with lots of warheads to be able to hit your target relatively close with a nuke, anyhow China has no first strike capability so consider the fact that we still have the upper hand.

RE: Not the same
By Mint on 1/29/2013 8:25:35 AM , Rating: 3
Missile defense has to be insanely accurate and comprehensive to be a deterrent. If an enemy fires 10 or even 100 dummy rockets alongside a nuke, the number of launch pads needed all over the country goes up by 1-2 orders of magnitude. Even if you hit 90% - no mean feat when you account for countermeasures like flares and stealth - that isn't particularly reassuring.

Unfortunately, faith in humanity and MAD is really the only deterrent we have.

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