The Islamic Republic of Iran has sent a monkey into space on a suborbital flight and returned it to Earth safely.
On Monday, Iran launched the Kavoshgar Pishgam (Pioneer Discoverer) rocket, which took the primate to an altitude of 120 kilometers.
“In this project, we are sending a live animal, a monkey, into space. This kind of monkey’s physiology is very similar to humans. We are [using] this monkey to test life support systems and flight conditions. The capsule is completely sealed. It is equipped with machines that produce oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide. All the vital signs will be transmitted to Earth, and cameras inside the cabin will record the event,” Iranian Space Agency Director Hamid Fazeli said.
Iran launched its first domestically manufactured satellite, the Omid (Hope), in 2009. The Islamic Republic sent its first bio-capsule containing living creatures into space in February 2010, using the domestically manufactured Kavoshgar-3 (Explorer-3) carrier.
Iran is one of the 24 founding members of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, which was set up in 1959.