Orville and Wilbur Wright flew the first plane, Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier, now Iran has launched a monkey into space.
The IRNA, Iran’s state news agency, made the announcement today that a Kavoshgar rocket lifted off from an undisclosed location and successfully propelled a white-knuckled primate to an altitude of 75 miles (120 km), returning its precious simian cargo intact. While no independent confirmation has been obtained by Western authorities, the Islamic Republic claims that it has inched closer to the goal of a manned mission into space.
The IRNA is touting its successful launch of the Kavoshgar rocket dubbed “Pishgam,” or “Pioneer” in Farsi, as a significant advance in their monkey-into-space program that has nearly caught the attention of government officials in the West and Israel.
Iran made an earlier attempt at sending a rhesus monkey beyond Earth’s atmosphere in 2011, but that attempt was said to have failed. The monkey was not available for comment. Iran has also previously sent worms, turtles, and a rat on one-way trips into the ionosphere. The Islamic nation has said that it intends to put a human in space by 2020, by which time Americans will be colonizing Mars.
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