A little behind the times, the Iranian Space Agency got a further setback last month, failing to launch a Rhesus monkey into space.
It has postponed future attempts for monkey launches indefinitely, according to AFP, which could also push back their hopes for sending up a human.
According to an Agence-France Press report (via Space.com), the Iranian Space AGency attempted to launch the monkey last month, but did not publicize the failed attempt, which is why it is hitting news sources now.
AFP has more:
“The Kavoshgar-5 rocket carrying a capsule with a live animal (a monkey) was launched during Shahrivar,” an Iranian calendar month spanning August 23 to September 22, Deputy Science Minister Mohammad Mehdinejad-Nouri was quoted as saying by the ISNA news agency.
“However, the launch was not publicised as all of its anticipated objectives were not accomplished,” Mehdinejad-Nouri told reporters.
He said the launch of a live animal into space was “strategic, and a priority,” and expressed hope that future launches would attain more of the objectives set.
The report goes on to note that Iran did successfully launched animals into space in 2010: a Kavoshgar-3 rocket carrying a rat, two turtles and a worm.
It is it unclear what went wrong with the recent launch and if the monkey was harmed or not. The country still plans to continue towards its goal of launching a human into space by 2020 and landing on the moon by 2025.
The first humans were sent into space in 1961 and man first landed on the moon in 1969.