Iran sends Monkey on Sub-Orbital Space Flight
December 14, 2013
Iran has successfully launched a monkey on a sub-orbital mission on Saturday, the Islamic Republic News Agency confirmed after reports surfaced via several news outlets. It was the country's second monkey to be launched this year after a Kavoshgar launch vehicle was used on January 28 to launch a rhesus monkey to an altitude of 120 Kilometers.
According to IRNA, Saturday's launch took place on the first day of the national Research Week and used a liquid-fueled rocket. The launch vehicle was identified as 'Pajohesh,' but no details on the vehicle's design were given. The flight was 15 minutes in duration and also reached an altitude of 120 Kilometers.
During the mission, scientists measured launch vehicle telemetry as well as biomed data of the space monkey that was tightly strapped into a seat inside the biocapsule of the launcher. The monkey that flew on Saturday is named Fargam (Auspicious).
The estimated mass of the biocapsule is 285 Kilograms. According to Iranian Space officials, the capsule contains a life support system to accommodate its passengers. The capsule design was validated with a test flight in 2011 and this year's first flight carrying a monkey.
Iranian Space Monkey - File Image - Credit: Iranian Students' News Agency / Borna Ghasemi
Iran had acquired a total of five monkeys that underwent assessments and health checks for eventual space flight. Prior to their missions, the test subjects enter quarantine and undergo medical checks.