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Iran launches monkey on suborbital flight
Posted: Tue, Jan 29, 2013, 6:19 AM ET (1119 GMT)
The Iranian government announced Monday that the country's space program had launched and successfully recovered a monkey on a suborbital spaceflight, a first for the nation. A Pishgam rocket launched a "bio-capsule" carrying a small monkey, sending the capsule to an altitude of 120 kilometers before landing. Official Iranian news sources report that the monkey survived the flight, although few other details about the mission have been disclosed. Iran previously launched a capsule carrying a rat, turtle, and worms in 2010. Iran claims that the launch is part of an effort leading up to a suborbital human spaceflight by the end of the decade. Many Western observers believe this and other Iranian space efforts are a cover for missile development efforts.
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