Iran Launches a Monkey on a Suborbital Rocket

According to Iran state media, Iran launched a suborbital rocket last week with a passenger aboard: a monkey. A gray tufted monkey survived the flight, riding inside an “indigenous bio-capsule” which was recovered after the flight. While the US and other nations are worried that Iran’s real goal is to have a nuclear missile program, Iran’s Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi told state television that this launch was a “big step” towards sending astronauts into space by 2020.

Iranian news agencies said the rocket traveled to an altitude of 120 kilometres (75 miles) for a suborbital flight. The space capsule was named Pishgam, which is “Pioneer” in Farsi. The launch has not yet been independently verified.

“This success is the first step towards man conquering the space and it paves the way for other moves,” General Vahidi said, but added that the process of putting a human into space would be a lengthy one.

“Today’s successful launch follows previous successes we had in launching (space) probes with other living creatures,” he said, referring to the launch in the past of a rat, turtles and worms into space.

A previous attempt in 2011 by Iran to put a monkey into space failed, and they never provided an explanation for the failure.

Much of Iran’s technological equipment derives from modified Chinese and North Korean technology. Iran denies that its long-range ballistic technology is linked to its atomic program.

Sources: SpaceRef, Fox News.

37 Replies to “Iran Launches a Monkey on a Suborbital Rocket”

  1. What the h*** is it with Iran anyway? Are they really as out of their minds as they seem to be?

      1. You need to read more.

        Iran and N Korea have a missle cooperation pact, and techs from each side regularly visits the other.
        What one accomplishes will be shared with the other.

        This test, if it actually happened, isn’t to advance their science or contribute to space exploration, it’s to advance their arsenals.

  2. With Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong walking on the moon, i thought humans where beyond sending animals to space…

    Still hopefully this will result in the US and Europe sending man to the moon again

  3. Does that means the Government of Islamic Iran officially approves of evolution as a fact as does the Roman Catholic Vatican?

    1. A religious matrix is like a permanent syneasthesia. You can only bypass it if you can actively access that matrix and change it on demand. Only very few can do that.
      Just try it out yourself: congrats Iran! …. it doesn’t feel right. that’s the permanent matrix at work. And it works for muslims or any other religion as well, including people who are atheïst.
      Humans are flying, but we all are just not there yet. Not by a long shot.

    1. And science aside, why did they have to pick that horrendous Microsoft Surface color scheme? Extremely bad taste.

      1. 🙂 You mean the Mondrianesque background for TV anchor? Sometimes I wonder the same… Some like meatballs and eagles and other mighty predatory birds, others put ancient gods and many, many little flags, some like inscriptions full of mystic heraldry. Globally, everyone seems to put Bank Gothic as default on anything techy 🙂 (then typographers roll their eyes)… I just don’t know. De gustibus et coloribus non est disputandum.

  4. Why for God’s sake put a creature through that sort of trauma? We already know that animals and humans can survive in space.

  5. I really do not know why they bothered launching a monkey into space. A monkey is not a good analog for nuclear material. Clearly that rocket will not be taking men into space. LOOK AT IT!

  6. This is unethical for its treatment of animals. As is animal testing in general and treatment of livestock for food. To readers in 100 years: not everyone agreed with this nonsense.

  7. That poor guy looks absolutely miserable! Figures that that they’d treat their animals as abysmally as they do their population. Pointless cruelty.

  8. Oh, and how impressive is the seat/capsule technology shown here! A little velcro, a little duct tape, some left over packing material from the mail room, presto, we’re ready for manned flights to Mars! You can see the high-tech work on this as a prototype for manned flight next, right?

  9. While I agree that this is both pointless and inhumane, I also feel compelled to point out that the first 6 monkeys launched into space by the U.S. all died horrible deaths: (1) Albert suffocated (2) Albert II died on impact (3) Albert III died at 35,000 feet when his V2 exploded and (4) Albert IV died on impact again after parachute failure. (5) Albert V died the same way as 2 and 4. (6) Albert VI died two hours after landing from overheating stress. And so on. It’s hypocritical for us to claim moral superiority.

    1. I do not believe that with the knowledge we now have of space flight and its effects we would feel compelled to launch a monkey on such a flight. Indeed, I would think it pointless and inhumane to do so. The difference between what we did then and what Iran is now doing is that we were ignorant of the effects of space flight and could reasonably argue that the potential unknown dangers justified the inhumane treatment of the monkey, while Iran has the benefit of seventy years of successful space flight by the US, Russia, the EU, and China to inform them of what these dangers are and how they can be mitigated.

      1. And what makes you think any of the space-faring nations you mentioned would be willing to share their knowledge with Iran? I grant that even post-revolution, Russia and China both maintained relations with Iran, but hardly to the extent of sharing such scientific discoveries with them. As for the others, the majority of the Western world has sanctions in place against sharing pretty much ANY technology with Iran. They are building their program from the ground up with home-grown technologies, and as such, seem to be taking the same route the US did 50+ years ago. I for one commend them for making progress despite overwhelming international pressure and what essentially amounts to a scientific blockade by the Western world. If we leave the politics out of it, they’ve just achieved far more than 90% of the world’s nations have been able to, and that merits at the very least some congratulations.

      2. They can learn anything they could get from this experiment by reading peer-reviewed journals that you can get even in Iran. Listen, you don’t know me, and you don’t know my politics. Stop assuming things I didn’t say. All I am saying is that this kind of test is no longer necessary, and as such even the questionable justification we had in the 50’s no longer applies.

      3. It’s exactly this kind of response, the “you don’t know me, you don’t know my politics” that has caused so much polarization and a lack of progress in the GLOBAL scientific community, which in turn results in tests like the one you’re criticizing. When did I claim to know you? When did I ask for your political opinion? My assertion was and is that, politics aside, this is an achievement few countries have ever managed, and that getting technical data in Iran is very difficult, so bully for them for managing what they did with what they had to work with. No need to get your knickers in a twist, mate. We’re all on the same side here 🙂

      4. When you say, “If we leave the politics out of it, they’ve just achieved far more than 90% of the world’s nations have been able to, and that merits at the very least some congratulations” the plain meaning is that I would be congratulating them rather than criticizing them if it weren’t for politics. I disagree utterly that there is anything to be congratulated in the “accomplishment” of an unnecessary and inhumane experiment, however difficult it was to pull off, and that has absolutely nothing to do with my politics.

  10. Let’s just be glad they sent a monkey instead of something else considered expendable and not worthy of bother in their eyes — like a woman.

  11. In the first image the monkey looks totally stoned/drugged out or dead? Ruffinals anyone? We’ll sleep and forget the facts! Ummm… Unconfirmed launch eh… yah shore… it would be? But truely… if it went up… it was most likely monitored.. being Iranian. SHHHHH! Be WARY way kwiet! Persian Monkey’s ahoy ISS!

  12. When they put a human up do you think they’ll also tie him into a foam-lined plastic box with velcro straps?

  13. Come on. The scope of the test was not to find out whether a monkey can survive a flight into space; it was to find out if it can survive a flight into space in the capsule they built. And though the fact that yep, monkeys are space-worthy, is well-known even in Iran, the exact technology behind the life support and other vital systems that keep them alive in-flight are not. So the Iranian engineers have to develop this technology on their own. And while the Americans tens to see Iran as a nation of cartoon villains who do nasty things because they are just evil like that, the reason Iranian rocketeers had to do this test is actually quite humane: they don’t want to have actual people fly untested spacecraft. What’s so evil about that?

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