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Space Science News

Iran Plans To Put a Monkey Into Space 153

arisvega writes "Iran plans to send a live monkey into space in the summer, the country's top space official said after the launch of the Rassad-1 satellite, state television reported on its website on Thursday. 'The Kavoshgar-5 rocket will be launched during the month of Mordad (July 23 to August 23) with a 285-kilogramme capsule carrying a monkey to an altitude of 120 kilometres (74 miles),' said Hamid Fazeli, head of Iran's Space Organisation. No mentioning on retrieving the monkey, though."
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Iran Plans To Put a Monkey Into Space

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  • But do they really think they can get a member of the US congress to cooperate with their space progra...

    Oh, wait, you meant the OTHER kind of monkey. Oh, right. Go on then.
    • Oh, I think that we out to send them a member. Personally, I would send shelby. He is the one that is busy pushing for the new jobs bill, Senate Launch System.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 18, 2011 @03:14AM (#36483492)
    ...Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is an astronaut!
  • by DurendalMac ( 736637 ) on Saturday June 18, 2011 @03:16AM (#36483506)
    This was done fifty years ago. Then again, I seriously doubt this kind of thing has anything to do with an actual space program and more a flimsy facade for a rocket test.
    • by Mindcontrolled ( 1388007 ) on Saturday June 18, 2011 @03:28AM (#36483568)
      I doubt that any space program in history has been run without thought for the military applications of the technology.
      • by rhook ( 943951 )

        Yep, the entire space race was about showing off our ICBM technology. All the early rockets were developed with nuclear warheads in mind.

        • In mind? BOTH, Atlas and R5 were developed for ICBM use. It just happened that they could also carry some other payload into orbit, and whether that's a human being or a nuclear bomb, does the rocket care as long as mass is roughly similar?

          The whole manned space program (at least 'til Kennedy decided to up the ante) was just to test (and show the other side) how much mass they could send into orbit. And it's more agreeable to population, UN and whoever else might be looking if you put men up there instead o

          • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

            The Russians wanted to put men in space for military purposes. It was thought they could spy on earth better than an automated satellite, and the put up serveral military space stations for that purpose. Most of them failed and eventually they abandoned the idea.

            The Germans had plans for sub-orbital bombers to hit the USA but never got them past early prototypes.

          • does the rocket care as long as mass is roughly similar?

            It does not, but the developing team does. Different payloads place different acceleration limits.

    • And back then no humans had gone into space so it made sense to send animals first. Now that people are living in space long term there is no way Iran can justify sending an animal. If they want to measure acceleration, temperature, vibration, life support, etc, then they can do that with instruments.

      • Mmhmmm.... if the US or the USSR... sorry, Russia, are willing to share their insights with them. If they are not, and at least with the US it seems highly unlikely, it makes a lot of sense to send some creatures up there to check whether they can handle certain conditions before you try it with a human.

        • I really just meant the general idea that living things had never been beyond the atmosphere and it would have been hard to convince some people to change their thinking enough to accept the idea. A bit like how when the first trains were built which could do 20, 30 miles per hour, some people believed that it would be impossible for humans to live while doing that. The Iranians know that people live in space. The details (like how much air do they need, how much acceleration can they take) are well underst

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        Somehow I don't think that anyone is going to lend them that technology, so they have to build and test their own.

    • by AnotherScratchMonkey ( 592037 ) on Saturday June 18, 2011 @04:14AM (#36483728) Homepage

      They don't mention the type of warhead the monkey will have in his arms.

    • The USA and allies invaded a neighbouring country recently (Iraq). They are just warning the USA etc off thinking of invading them, just wanting to remind potential invaders that they've got the ability to drop a bomb (maybe nuclear) anywhere else on the planet if they need to.

      What would the USA do if a country it didn't like had successfully invaded Mexico or Canada and was sitting just off its borders?

    • WHAT'S THE POINT ????
  • by Dr. Spork ( 142693 ) on Saturday June 18, 2011 @03:17AM (#36483510)
    This sounds all scientific and stuff, but basically the sending of larger mammals (plus life support gear) into space also indicates that you can send a nuclear warhead to any place on Earth. The Soviets first did this with Laika aboard Sputnik II, and this basically started a new phase of the cold war.
    • I thought Laika was to determine if something "alive" could survive the trip into space through the EM belts?

      • No, Laika was sent up purely for propaganda.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          Laika was sent up for science. It was funded for propaganda.

      • by rhook ( 943951 )

        You're thinking of the Van Allen radiation belt. The existence of which was not even confirmed until sometime in 1958, the year after Laika was sent into space.

        • by Yvanhoe ( 564877 ) on Saturday June 18, 2011 @07:23AM (#36484338) Journal
          Reading pre-1958 science fiction is really enlightening about the mindset of the time. No man, no animal had ever gone to this very strange place where the stars always shine, where the air is not there, where gravity takes a break. At this time, no one ever saw a picture of the earth as a blue marble. Space was not the place around earth, it was the place above the clouds, the place from which God and gods had recently been chased in the intellectual pictures of the days.

          In one novel, they were imagining that so far from Earth, human minds can not hold. Various craziness appearing. The only way to travel would be to be in a form of coma, half dead.

          It is right, they did not know many things about how it was, but their imagination was working at full speed and they surely expected unexpected things. Sending a mammal to be sure that it doesn't get instantly fried by some then unknown effects was a really reasonable step.
          • In one novel, they were imagining that so far from Earth, human minds can not hold. Various craziness appearing. The only way to travel would be to be in a form of coma, half dead.

            Wow. They had commercial air travel nailed way back then.


    • Yes, and your point is what? The US already has that kind of technology. The US should disarm it's missiles to avoid a cold war. Makes sense, right?

    • And they would want to signal this because...?
      Iran has already stated it wants to obliterate the "large devil" (US) and the "small devil" (Israel). Why should they signal anything if they're serious about it? Are they just playing the ol' "somebody please hold me down before I hurt someone" game.

      • Because nobody has ever invaded a country with nuclear-tipped ICBMs. They're eager to join the "don't fuck with" club, and this is a big part of the membership qualifications. Now they just need to test a warhead - but unlike the ICBM, there's no way to do this "innocently".
        • They can test it in some remote corner of the Pacific or up in space, try to cover their tracks and deny the whole thing (or put the blame on the Israelis, as they like to do). More likely, as they want everyone to know about it, they will probably boast their successful nuclear blast.

          BTW, the "don't fuck with" club members are assertive about their membership but are very sensible and wouldn't actually dare to use their capabilities unless they will be very hard pressed against the wall. The Iranian govern

    • Maybe they're just trying to say: "My ICBM is larger than yours..." or "Hey babe, check out my ICBM. I don't have a diamond on its tip, I've got a monkey!"

  • The question is, can you get it down alive?

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      The monkey might be drift off/be guided off course, be rescued and be taught how to sign. After that it might describe the other "capsule" it saw. Thats a huge security risk.
  • Thats all heavy lift like that is at that point, testing ICBMs and throw-weight under the cover of "civilian" or "scientific" research.

  • Send Mrs. Monkey to accompany him as well. He will be bored to death otherwise for not having someone by his side to pick tasty morsels out of his hair! or vice versa of course.
  • by Anonymous Coward they kidnapped George W. Bush in the first place.

  • Space exploration or ICBM reasearch? Like another post said, putting a 285+ Kg into space demonstrates that they now have the capability to launch rockets that can reach anywhere on Earth (although maybe not accurately, yet). Furthermore, the fact that they are sending it up into space, controlling its free orbit trajectory, but not planning to recover the capsule suggests they are more interested in the launching and in-flight capabilities of the rocket than any of the other data that may be associated wit
    • by rhook ( 943951 )

      Nuclear warheads do not require precise accuracy to be effective.

    • by AGMW ( 594303 )

      ... but not planning to recover the capsule ...

      So does the monkey get to die of thirst or suffocate?


      • by Anonymous Coward

        The Laika (Sputnik 2) experiment says that the monkey will die of overheat.

    • So? The US and Russia both have a lot of nukes, and they're by some margin more precise than whatever Iran could test.

  • Poor monkey, shoulda just taken the lashes.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Did Microsoft's board contract with Iran to launch Ballmer?

  • It would be a monkey specially trained to guide the ICBM (disguised into a space ship) to a particular place on earth and then activate its nuclear warhead. Using a trained monkey is the only way to make sure no computer worm will interfere with their nuclear program.
  • The monkey might go off course and land outside of Iran. The Iranian leadership would then run a great risk of the monkey defecting and giving up all their secrets.
  • to test their airborne laser weapon []
  • Iran Plans To Put a Monkey Into Space

    I hope Iran upgraded Photoshop to support the features required this time.

  • Any chance the "monkey" will be wearing a cheap tan jacket? Now that would be progress.
  • It's about time Achmedinejad got his first space flight.

    Hasta la vista, baby.


  • No, I am not like you...I AM SIMION! []

    • by 6Yankee ( 597075 )

      When I worked in the electricity industry, I had to call various companies and ask how their meter readers had got a six-digit read off a five-digit meter, whether they really thought an irrigation pump could have burned 999,999kWh in a month, etc.

      One of these companies was so dreadful that we just called them "the chimps". (Scary part is, they weren't the worst.) Imagine how hard it was to keep a straight face the day a bloke called Simeon answered the phone...

  • Sending something into space isn't the biggest problem, it is keeping it intact and getting it back in one piece that is where the biggest challenge is.

  • by koan ( 80826 )

    Just sounds like little kids sticking firecrackers in frogs or something.

  • Next year Iran is expected to unveil something they call a "wheel".

  • Presumably the monkey will carry the word of Prophet Mohammed into the vasty deeps?
  • You know, for useless acts of war they have no problems sacrificing themselves, over nothing, yet for an important discovery or monumental action like going into space, they can't be bothered to use their own species, they have to send in a monkey....please tell me why they can't send a human up, everyone has done so already, why send a defenseless creature up in space.....oh yeah....their f*cken scared stiff of their own technology!

  • ...and it wants its headlines back. I mean seriously, there's so much junk up there it's like an orbital junkyard. This is not stuff that launched itself up there. It was carried. On rockets. The type we've been flinging into space for over half a century. But now it's news because Iran decides it wants to doom a few rhesus monkeys in an experiment that consists of 5 steps:

    1) Build rocket
    2) Strap monkey into chair
    3) Put chair into rocket
    4) Fling into space
    5) ...profit?

    Nothing to see here.

The intelligence of any discussion diminishes with the square of the number of participants. -- Adam Walinsky