Iran has successfully launched a space capsule carrying animals, the official Iranian news agency IRNA reported. Despite the turmoil the country is witnessing, Iran is taking a new step in its ambitious space program after ten years.
Iranian Minister of Information Technology and Communications Issa Zaripour hopes to have more good news by March, according to the IRNA news agency. According to Al Jazeera, neither the minister nor government media wanted to identify the animals in the space capsule.
The 500-kilogram capsule was launched about 130 kilometers away. The aircraft was launched by the newly developed Salman Launch Vehicle. Eventually, the rocket will also have to transport astronauts. At the moment, it is not clear when the country will use this technology to send people into space.
Iran launched its first space capsule carrying live animals in 2010. Three years later, the country sent a monkey into space. The animal survived the space flight. Due to technical problems, Iran has suffered several failed satellite launches.
Tehran insists that its space activities have civilian purposes and are peaceful. The United States and Israel fear that the launch systems could be used to launch nuclear missiles. Iran denies this accusation.
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