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Iran to send monkey into space: Report

June 16, 2011 - Tehran

Iran has planned to send a live monkey into space, the country's top space official has said.

According to Hamid Fazeli, the head of Iran's space organization, the Kavoshgar-5 rocket will be launched during July 23 to August 23 with a 285-kilogram capsule carrying a monkey to an altitude of 120 kilometers.

He said this after the country successfully launched its Rassad-1 satellite into space, reports.

Fazeli also announced plans for the launch in October of the Fajr reconnaissance satellite with a life span of a year and a half, and to be placed at an altitude of 400 kilometers, the report said.

In February, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad unveiled a space capsule designed to carry a live monkey into space along with four new prototypes of home-built satellites the country hopes to launch before March 2012.

At the time, Fazeli touted the launch of a large animal into space as the first step toward sending a man into space, which Tehran claims is scheduled for 2020, the report said.

Iran sent small animals like rats, turtles and worms into space in its Kavoshgar-3 rocket in 2010.


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