Iran Launches Monkey Into Space
18:44 28/01/2013 MOSCOW, January 28 (RIA Novosti) - Iran has successfully launched a bio-capsule with a live monkey into space, the country's Press TV channel reported on Monday.
The Kavoshgar rocket carrying the capsule, code-named Pishgam (Pioneer), reached an altitude of more than 120 kilometers and returned to Earth safely.
Iranian Space Agency Chief Doctor Hamid Fazeli said earlier in January that monkeys were selected for the mission due to their biological similarities with humans. The country is preparing for a manned space mission in the next five to eight years.
Previous attempts by the Islamic Republic to send a monkey into space have failed.
Iran launched its first domestically-produced satellite Omid (Hope) in 2009, an endeavor which made it the ninth country with the ability to launch satellites.
In 2010, Iran launched a Kavoshagar-3 rocket that delivered a rat, two turtles and a worm into space. The country also orbited satellites in 2011 and 2012.
Western powers suspect Iran of using its space program to develop ballistic missiles. Iran denies the allegations.
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