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Iran to Launch Animals to Space

Kavoshgar rocket.  Credit: Satnews Daily
Iran is planning to launch animals into space. According to Mohammed Ebrahimi from Iran’s Aerospace Research Institute, in the near future, the Kavoshgar-3 and -4 rockets will use animals as test passengers before they attempt a human mission. On November 26, Iran successfully launched its second space rocket, the Kavoshgar-2, which contained a space lab and a data-monitoring and processing unit. This Iranian rocket is fully capable of packing a small payload and then re-entering Earth’s atmosphere with a high degree of accuracy, according to reports. They will attempt two more test flights before trying to launch a working satellite into orbit with a larger rocket, the Safir-e Omid (or Ambassador of Peace) rocket. In August, Iran claimed they successfully launched a dummy satellite into space, which was refuted by the US. Officials from Iran insist the country’s space program is non-military in nature.

No information was released about what kinds of animals would be launched. On Nov. 26 Iranian state television reported that the Kavoshgar-2 completed its mission and returned to Earth via parachute after 40 minutes, and that the rocket had been designed and built by Iranian aerospace experts.

Much of Iran’s technological equipment derives from modified Chinese and North Korean technology. Earlier in November, Iran said it had also test-fired a new medium-range missile. Its 2,000-km (1,240-mile) range would be capable of reaching Western Europe. However, Iran denies that its long-range ballistic technology is linked to its atomic program.

The country is already under international pressure to give up its nuclear work, which it says is purely civilian.

Sources: Satnews Daily, BBC

About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • byron December 4, 2008, 2:31 PM

    Every nation should have a space program. Its their very right to do so. We have nothing to fear, but fear itself. Peaceful intentions should be supported by all.

  • Dark Gnat December 4, 2008, 1:47 PM

    I’m sure their ballistic missiles and space programs have absolutley nothing to do with their goal to “wipe israel off the map”.

  • Jon Gretar December 4, 2008, 2:00 PM

    Dark Gnat: Look at a map…. They don’t need intercontinental missiles for that. A BB gun could go that distance.

    Plus the whole “wipe israel off the map” was apparently something that guy never said. Anyways he’ll be gone soon. Bot Iran and the US is getting rid of their hard-liners.

  • Joe December 4, 2008, 2:34 PM

    I am sure the U.S. ballistic missiles and all the nukes they have are for peace purposes only.
    Its the rule of the jungle, strongest is always right.

    Here is the US history after WW2. They still have the face to tell other nations what to do, it seems that the rest of the world is wrong and U.S. is always correct.

    Korean War (1950–1953)
    Bay of Pigs (1961)
    Vietnam War (1961–1973)
    Dominican Republic (1965)
    Lebanon (1982–1984)
    Grenada (1983)
    Panama (1989)
    Gulf War (1991)
    Somalia (1993)
    Bosnia (1994–1995)
    Kosovo (1999)
    Afghanistan (2001– )
    Iraq War (2003– )

  • Nephish777 December 4, 2008, 3:02 PM

    “This Iranian rocket is fully capable of packing a small payload and then re-entering Earth’s atmosphere with a high degree of accuracy, according to reports.” This sure sounds like technology that could be used to build ICBMs. I don’t trust Iran at all. (I live in the USA and I suspect our space program had/has military functions.) Any technology can be used for good or evil, war or peace.

  • Frank Glover December 4, 2008, 3:04 PM

    “Every nation should have a space program. Its their very right to do so….”

    Agreed, but…

    ” We have nothing to fear, but fear itself.”

    Sorry, while it’s true that ‘paranoia will destroy ya,’ it’s not paranoia if they really *are* out to get you. Sometimes there are very legitimate reasons for fear.

    “Peaceful intentions should be supported by all.”

    Sure, IF that’s what’s really going on. But the former Soviets had no qualms about other nations understanding that if they could launch signifigant payloads into orbit, they could also lob a weapon suborbitally anywhere they wanted to…

  • A Persian December 4, 2008, 3:31 PM

    Hi,

    … and LOL ! so they wanna “scientific” research, funny to hear that from those guys! yep too funny.

    Cheer,s

    PS: “Omid” doesn’t mean “peace” , it means “hope”.

  • Bijan December 4, 2008, 5:36 PM

    The neo-zionist nation have always tried to undermine Iran.
    When Iran was building her Railroad system
    the same nation objected then as they do now.
    When Iran nationalized it’s oil & gas industry
    the U.S., U.K. France and the lesser puppies
    called it “a threat to world peace”
    They just can’t see anyone else doing well!
    The space over Iran By International Law belongs to Iran and nobody else.
    The glory of Persia is rising once more….
    Science for all

  • From Hell_of_teh December 5, 2008, 4:19 AM

    Hi — My country is destroyed inside it self !!! If u Wanna mocking sth I show U sth funny !!! Just try 2 laugh to AHMADI NEJAD !!! it’s easy and fun !!!
    2 better tomorrw

  • Bahramerad December 5, 2008, 1:57 AM

    I am so happy to hear this news. I hope that they send as the first passenger The well know Iranian monkey ( Ahmadinejad ).
    Thats what I call killing to birds with one stone. In this case – flying a pig up to space!

  • giovanni abatematteo December 5, 2008, 5:39 AM

    space exploration should not be set aside for the privilieged few only.

  • cwg December 5, 2008, 8:53 AM

    …nor should it (space travel) be done with the lives of animals who suffer greatly in these kind of in-humane experiments… funny how no one has even commented on that point! after all- that WAS the title of this article!

  • neil December 5, 2008, 12:43 PM

    As a member of PETA (People for Eating Tastey Animals) i think its a great idea

  • Yael Dragwyla December 5, 2008, 8:01 PM

    Giovanni — The space industry is not for the “privileged few only” — it’s for the whole world. The problem is that now and for the foreseeable future, relatively few people have/will have the training, health, and experience to enable them to stay alive in space or on other worlds, let alone function well there, because training and selection programs can only take so many. That will change over time. Moreover, what we can do in space can benefit the whole world, such as putting solar collectors in orbit around the Earth and others around the Sun, lasering their catches of sunlight back to Earth in microwave form, providing power to the entire Earth at rock-bottom prices from an essentially eternal & renewable resource. The Solar System is packed with minerals that are just perfect for our manufacturing and other industrial needs, and space-based robot factories that can’t pollute anything or crowd the living world could use those minerals and other resources, including sunlight for power, to produce almost all the goods needed on Earth. Even food could be grown in special habitats or on small asteroids someday, food for a hungry planet. Solar power direct from the Sun taken above the atmosphere could also be used to desalinate seawater for the nations. Endless wealth for all of us is to be had out there — but only if well-trained and -equipped pioneers lay the groundwork for such vitally needed endeavors. Get a life, Giovanni — to make wealth, you have to spend some, first. If you make wealth, you can benefit the whole world — but without it you can’t do anything worth a damn.

  • Barnacle Bill December 5, 2008, 3:08 PM

    Forget the military, PETA where are you ??

    BTW Joe nice sliding in a slam on the good ol’ US of A on a story about the Iranian space program. Get a life !!

  • Smcgee December 6, 2008, 5:04 PM

    Why were the types of animals sent into space not released? I would be interesting to know the different species to see if they reacted differently in zero g’s. We don’t know if all creature act the same. Just think of the spiders, it took a few days to get their bearings straight (I’ll never understand how they did that with no gravity, up or down, etc. Getting back to the point, why would that be kept secret and not released and valuble information??

  • Persenger December 7, 2008, 8:32 AM

    Believe it or not, Iran is not planning to achieve weapons of mass destruction! It’s simply moving on a peaceful path.

  • Smcgee December 7, 2008, 4:34 PM

    Did anyone have any ideas why the animal occupants were not released to the public? Insects, mammals, fish, birds, etc????

  • Dark Gnat December 9, 2008, 10:03 AM

    Jon: Your right, apparently he really said that Israel is a “disgraceful stain [on] the Islamic world”, that needed to be “wiped from the pages of history”. As if that’s any better.

    Iran is not exactly known as a peaceful nation. They have been well known supporters of terrorism, and have activley engaged in terrorism in the past.

    But they want nuclear capability and ballistic missiles for “peaceful purposes”.

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