Iran claims it sent a monkey into space

Last Updated: Tue, Jan 29, 2013 05:11 hrs

London: Iran has claimed that it has successfully sent a monkey into orbit, according to a report.

A rocket dubbed Pishgam, or Pioneer in Farsi, reached a height of 72 miles before coming back down Earth, according to state television.

According to report by the country's state-run media, the monkey made it safely back to earth.

Images showed the grey-tufted monkey preparing for the flight, wearing a mini space suit, and being strapped tightly into a pod that looked like a child's car seat, the Daily Mirror reports.

According to the report, a similar mission in 2011 failed, although state authorities refused to disclose why.

Iran's defence ministry said in a statement that the space launch of the monkey coincided with the Prophet Mohammad's birthday last week but gave no specific date.

It also said the launch was "another giant step" in space technology and biological research "which is the monopoly of a few countries," the report added.

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