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The monkey that was sent into space today  (Source: s2.jrnl.ie)
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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