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Iran to send living creature to space in two years

RIA Novosti

15:24 07/10/2009 MOSCOW, October 7 (RIA Novosti) - Iran plans to send a living creature into space within the next two years, the Fars news agency has reported.

"We will launch a bio-capsule containing a living creature into space," Mohsen Bahrami, head of Iran's Aerospace Center, was quoted as saying on Tuesday.

"We are currently working on the program," he said without specifying the "living creature."

Iran had previously said it would put live animals into space as part of its plan to launch a manned spaceflight by 2021.

Iran's Aerospace Research Center also said it would launch its next Kavoshgar (Explorer) sub-orbital rocket next March.

Kavoshgar rockets were launched in February and November 2008, while Iran put a domestically produced satellite into orbit using its own Safir (Messenger) carrier rocket in February this year.

While Iran insists its space program is exclusively peaceful, there are concerns in the West that the country could using it to as a cover for devleoping its ballistic missile arsenal.

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