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Iran Plans To Send Monkey Into Space

Source: RFE/RL

Iranian media report that the country's space agency plans to send a second monkey into space within a month in its ongoing pursuit of a manned space program.

The conservative "Jomhuri Eslami" on October 13 quoted Hamid Fazeli, the deputy head of Iran's space agency, as saying the planned launch is part of a program to send a human into space in 2018.

Fazeli refused to set a definite date for the launch.

Iran's state-backed English-language broadcaster Press TV also quoted Fazeli on the hopes for a fresh simian launch, adding that Iranian scientists also expect to send "other species" into space in later stages of the program.

Iran in January claimed to have successfully launched a live monkey into space and to have brought it safely back to Earth. The experiment's success was disputed, however, when photos of a different monkey were presented to the media after the landing.

In September, an Iranian space program official said Iran was considering launching Persian cats into space.

Based on reporting by AFP, AP, and RFE/RL

Copyright (c) 2013 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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