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Space Science Technology

Iran Tried and Failed To Launch a Monkey Into Space 272

Posted by timothy
from the hard-thing-to-get-right dept.
Medevilae writes with a recent report from PopSci's dedicated 'space monkey' news feed that "When Iran indefinitely suspended its plans to launch a monkey into space earlier this month, it was actually because they had already tried and failed. Iranian Deputy Science Minister Mohammad Mehdinejad-Nouri told state media that the Kavoshgar-5 rocket carrying a capsule with a live monkey launched during Shahrivar, which is the Iranian month spanning August 23 to September 22, but the launch was not publicized because it did not accomplish all of its mission objectives. Assuming one of the objectives was to safely carry the monkey to space and back, things don't sound good for the monkey."
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Iran Tried and Failed To Launch a Monkey Into Space

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  • by Oswald McWeany (2428506) on Tuesday October 18, 2011 @10:05AM (#37749412)

    They failed to launch a monkey?

    Does that mean Ahmadinejad is still on Earth?

    • No, the Ayatollah.
  • I can't wait to eat that (now toasted) monkey!

  • The key question is, what sort of monkey? :) On the serious side, it may indicate their current launch capacity, There's a big difference between a capuchin and a chimp. Yes I know a chimp is an ape, but in common usage they're frequently referred to as a monkey.
    • I normally would RTFA first, but it appears that TFA is on a broken link.
    • by aenea (34844)

      I'm actually wondering why launch a monkey at all. Or even a chimp. I think we're pretty sure at this point that no one is going to die from the space vapors or the orbiting hordes of vacuum leaches. What sort of telemetry do they get from a monkey that you can't get from a sensor package?

      • Less condemnation/embarrasment and no loss of trained astronauts if the mission fails at the equipment proving stage.
      • by ae1294 (1547521)

        I'm actually wondering why launch a monkey at all. Or even a chimp. I think we're pretty sure at this point that no one is going to die from the space vapors or the orbiting hordes of vacuum leaches. What sort of telemetry do they get from a monkey that you can't get from a sensor package?

        Shit return...

      • by Millennium (2451)

        Iran doesn't appear to be reusing old American or Russian vehicles (though they do seem to be using a Russian rocket), but actually building one of their own. A new vehicle needs to be tested; although there may not be "space vapors" or "vacuum leeches", there are still plenty of hazards in space that a vehicle needs to be able to handle.

        Using a monkey is a basic safety check: can the vehicle deal with said hazards well enough that something with very similar physiology to a human can survive a trip to spac

        • It always strikes me as funny that a state that has no problem imprisoning, torturing and murdering people feels the ethical imperative to put a monkey in space first.

      • by rickb928 (945187)

        All the stuff that isn't published by the states that HAVE launched lifeforms successfully.

        Oh, and all the stuff about the return. That's important too.

      • Because it's a macho thing to "ignore/cover-up/fake sensor data". With a monkey you can "sorta pretend it is really an astronaut", it makes people get just a tad more serious if someone signs off and then it still goes wrong. If you think someone was playing games you simply say "Show me the monkey!" Bonus Points if it listens to Peter Gabriel on the way up.

  • Gosh... (Score:5, Funny)

    by thestudio_bob (894258) on Tuesday October 18, 2011 @10:09AM (#37749450)
    I hope it wasn't Michael Nesmith. He was my favorite.
  • by Darth_brooks (180756) <clipper377@gm3.1415926ail.com minus pi> on Tuesday October 18, 2011 @10:33AM (#37749708) Homepage

    Where'd the monkey take his vaction? All over Tehran!

    What color were the monkey's eyes? Blue. One blew north, the other blew south....

    Iranian NASA. Needs Another Simian Astronaut

  • Who's the Jerk who sold a bunch of monkeys to Iran ?

  • I always hope every country reach their objectives when it comes to space exploration, and Iran is no exception. I hope their next missions will be more successful.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by orphiuchus (1146483)

      Iran's goal for space exploration, and all of their technological innovation for that matter, is to force everyone in the universe to convert to their horrible religion or die... I for one hope that they keep on failing.

  • by wisebabo (638845) on Tuesday October 18, 2011 @11:08AM (#37750134) Journal

    Just wondering if some embedded controller somewhere had been hacked. It seems the Iranian space program would be an obvious target for some unfriendly foreign government to try to cripple. Even if (when?) the Iranians get the bomb they'll need some means of delivering it.

    I would imagine it'll be too big to send via diplomatic pouch and their air force is completely outclassed by their main adversaries in the region (Israel and Saudi Arabia). (I don't know if those countries air forces could knock down a low-flying cruise missile, I'd think the cities and oil installations on the gulf might be indefensible). Despite having a few subs, I'd imagine the U.S. Navy tracks them very closely, still a short range attack by mini-subs or suicide speedboat might be possible.

    So that leaves space. With their "military" space program being watched very carefully, it appears there will be some sort of ABM system covering U.S. Allies and Europe before they have an intermediate range missile capable of delivering a nuke. That's where their "civilian" program could conceivably come into play. A nuke placed IN ORBIT could go the "long way around" thus avoiding the theater defenses currently being built. Of course the U.S. has anti-sat weapons but they may not cover every approach especially if the weapon deorbits before completing even one revolution. (And it's pretty clear that the U.S. doesnt have the specially equipped F-15 fighters all over the world to cover its allies.).

    Finally, who's to say that the U.S. will even know what to shoot down? The Iranians may say they've just launched a monkey into space only to reveal later (maybe MUCH later) that the capsule carrying the presumably now-dead monkey actually has a nuke instead. Even if the U.S. decided to shoot on sight any Iranian "satellite" that started acting funny over the U.S. mainland, it could be too late. An EMP blast before the ASAT weapon gets to it could prove pretty devastating.

    That, by the way, is why the Outer Space treaty was put into place; having nukes in orbit was far too destabilizing and would have led to the world being just seconds away from WWIII (instead of the current approximately 30 minutes). Of course if the Iranians are going to ignore the non-proliferation treaty, who's to say they'll honor any others?

    So there's a real incentive to deny the Iranians access to orbit. Anybody writing a James Bond script about this?

  • I'm not sure what the exchange rate is.

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