Iran Reports Lofting Monkey Into Space, Calling It Preludeto Human Flight – New York TimesWestern experts said the brief e...
one day might target the United States.Iran is also pursuing a program to enrich uranium, which can fuel reactors or nucle...
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/29/world/middleeast/iran-says-it-sent-monkey-into-space.html                               ...
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Iran Reports Lofting Monkey Into Space, Calling It Prelude to Human Flight – New York Times

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Iran Reports Lofting Monkey Into Space, Calling It Prelude to Human Flight – New York Times

  1. 1. Iran Reports Lofting Monkey Into Space, Calling It Preludeto Human Flight – New York TimesWestern experts said the brief experiment appeared to have few if any immediate militaryimplications, as it might have if Iran had launched a much larger vehicle that could fly high andfast enough to put a major payload into orbit.“It doesn’t demonstrate any militarily significant technology,” said Jonathan McDowell, aHarvard astronomer who tracks rocket launchings and space activity. “This is a tiny old rocket,and what’s on top is useful only for doing astronaut stuff.”Rather, he and other experts said, the exercise seemed to represent a small but significant stepin Iran’s stated goal of developing rockets big and advanced enough to send human astronautsinto space — a goal Tehran has repeated publicly for more than a year.Charles P. Vick, an expert on Iranian rockets at a private research group, GlobalSecurity.org, inAlexandria, Va., said that the flight, if truly successful, showed that Iran was slowly masteringthe technology of life support.“It’s significant in that it shows progress toward manned spaceflight,” he said in an interview.But Mr. Vick urged caution about the Iranian claims, noting that news media reports suggestedthat Iran in 2011 had tried and failed to put a monkey into space.“I think they messed up,” he said of the reported failure, conceding that other Western expertsdisagreed on whether Iran had in fact tried to launch a monkey earlier.James E. Oberg, a former NASA engineer and author of a dozen books on human spaceflight,said Iran’s civil space advances also had propaganda value, since the peaceful flights couldtake global attention off the nation’s military feats and ambitions.“To a large degree, it’s a fig leaf,” he said in an interview. “Like the North Koreans, they get topresent their program as peaceful when lots of it has to do with weapons development.”For decades, space powers have lofted ants, spiders, mice, rats, frogs, snails, fish, turtles,guinea pigs, cats, dogs, monkeys and chimpanzees as cover stories for military programs andas high-flying experiments meant to pave the way for sending humans into orbit. Iran in recentyears has said it has launched a mouse, a turtle and a number of worms.“It’s a question of testing life-support reliability for people,” Mr. Oberg said. “Things in zerogravity don’t always behave like they do in test chambers on earth. It’s prudent to look forthings you might have overlooked.”On the military side, Iran has tested and fielded a growing arsenal of powerful missiles that nowthreaten Israel and limited parts of Europe. In 2009 and 2011, it successfully put satellites intoorbit. Aerospace experts say the orbital steps can help Iran develop long-range missiles that 1/3
  2. 2. one day might target the United States.Iran is also pursuing a program to enrich uranium, which can fuel reactors or nuclear warheadsatop missiles. For many years, Western powers have failed to persuade Iran to abandon thesprawling effort, which they see as aimed at making nuclear arms. Iran has denied that chargeand insists its goals are entirely peaceful.On Monday, Iran’s Press TV, a state-run broadcaster, said the monkey had been launched in aspace capsule code named Pishgam, or Pioneer. It quoted the director of the Iran SpaceAgency, Hamid Fazeli, as saying this month that “because of biological similarities betweenhumans and monkeys, the latter were selected for the space mission.” He also predicted thatIran would send a human into space within the “next five to eight years.”Western space experts could give no confirmation of the report, which Press TV called evidenceof “yet another” Iranian achievement in launching animals into space.The state news agency, IRNA, said the monkey rode on a Kavoshgar rocket that reached analtitude of 75 miles and “returned its shipment intact,” Reuters reported. The monkey survived,Press TV said. The timing of the reported launching was unclear — either on Monday or withinthe past few days.The report emerged as Western officials in Brussels said they had offered Iran new dates inFebruary to resume the long-running and inconclusive nuclear talks, Reuters reported. Iranianofficials reportedly turned down a request for a meeting in Istanbul at the end of January.Mr. Vick of GlobalSecurity.org said Iran’s program for human spaceflight was apparentlymaking progress not only in launching animals into space but in developing large new rocketsand launching facilities.This month, he said, Iran unveiled information about a space capsule meant to hold humanastronauts. “It’s based on Chinese technology,” Mr. Vick said, adding that Iran had nearlycompleted a large new launching pad big enough for powerful rockets that could loft warheads,satellites or people into space.“It’s nearly done,” Mr. Vick said of the launching facility. “It’s for the big new launcher they’rebuilding.”Alan Cowell contributed reporting from London.Source Article from 2/3
  3. 3. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/29/world/middleeast/iran-says-it-sent-monkey-into-space.html Waddywood.com Iran Reports Lofting Monkey Into Space, Calling It Prelude to Human Flight – New York Times 3/3Powered by TCPDF (www.tcpdf.org)

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