Iran Sent a Capsule Capable of Holding Animals into Orbit.

Image of the launch of the Salaman rocket by the Iranian Space Agency
Image of the launch of the Salaman rocket by the Iranian Space Agency

Despite popular opinion, the first animals in space were not dogs or chimps, they were fruit flies launched by the United States in February 1947. The Soviet Union launched Laika, the first dog into space in November 1957 and now, it seems Iran is getting in on the act. A 500kg capsule known as the “indigenous bio-capsule” with life support capability was recently launched atop the Iranian “Salman” rocket. It has been reported by some agencies that there were animals on board but no official statement has been released.

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Over 400 Historic Space Artifacts up for Auction

This flag flew to the Moon and back with the Apollo 11 crew. It's one of the many items from the history of spaceflight up for sale at an upcoming auction. Image Credit: RR Auction


If you’re interested in owning an artifact or two from the history of spaceflight, now could be your chance to snag some up. From January 13-20, over 400 artifacts relating to the history of spaceflight will be up on the auction block at RR Auction. There’s a diverse number of different pieces, ranging from an Atlas I and II crow’s foot wrench to numerous items that flew aboard many of the Apollo missions and on Projects Mercury and Gemini.

There are even a few spare parts for the Shuttle, though it’s probably not a good idea to follow along in Johnny Cash’s footsteps; if you build a space shuttle one piece at a time, it’ll cost you more than a dime and I doubt you’ll want to fly it into space.

This auction is filled with loads of memorabilia – much of it signed by astronauts or other NASA personnel – from the Apollo missions. There is a US flag that flew with the Apollo 11 crew to the Moon and back, attached to a certificate signed by Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins. As you can imagine, this one is going to go for a lot – the bidding starts at $2500.

If you drill it out so it'll fit, and with a little help from an A-daptor kit, you could have a shuttle running just like a song. Image Credit: RR Auction. Mangled lyrics credit: The Man in Black

One piece that has been getting a lot of attention – and will probably also sell for quite a lot, given that it starts out at $1000 – is the original page from the November 1969 Playboy magazine featuring topless Playmate DeDe Lind. The page was stuck to a piece of cardboard aboard Apollo 12, and traveled all the way to the Moon and back aboard the Yankee Clipper.

It’s accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from Richard Gordon, the Apollo 12 Command Module pilot, which reads in part: “This cue card, which flew with me to the moon, has been in my sole possession and part of my personal space collection since my return from the moon in 1969 aboard America’s second lunar landing mission, and it remains one of the all-time greatest Apollo era astronaut ‘Gotcha’s!’” Historic, indeed.

Other items up on the block: lunar meteorites from the Hupe collection, telegrams sent out by Werner von Braun (inviting a friend to visit a launch on “Moonday”), and fifty-nine pieces of the Skylab oxygen tank that were recovered by three people in Australia after the space station was de-orbited in 1979.

Here’s a link to the entire collection for your perusal.

Source: Nerdist, RR Auction