Quantcast
Latest Stories

Iranian space official: Photo shows wrong monkey

By

In this picture obtained from the Iranian Students News Agency, ISNA, scientists surround a monkey ahead of a space launch in an undisclosed location in Iran. A gray-tufted monkey strapped in a pod resembling an infant’s car seat rode an Iranian rocket into space and returned safely, officials said Monday, Jan. 28, 2013, in what was described as a step toward Tehran’s goal of a manned space flight. AP/ISNA, Mohammad Agah

TEHRAN, Iran—One of two official packages of photos of Iran’s famed simian space traveler depicted the wrong monkey, but a primate really did fly into space and return safely to Earth, a senior Iranian space official confirmed Saturday.

The two different monkeys shown in the photos released by Iran’s state media caused some international observers to wonder whether the monkey had died in space or that the launch didn’t go well.

One set of pictures showed a relatively dark-haired monkey. Another showed a different monkey — strapped in a pod — that had light gray hair and a distinctive red mole over its right eye.

Mohammad Ebrahimi told the The Associated Press that the monkey who traveled in space was named “Pishgam,” the Farsi word for pioneer. Initially, the Iranian media said “Pishgam” was the rocket that took him on a 20-minute journey into space on Monday.

Ebrahimi said one set of pictures showed an archive photo of one of the alternate monkeys. He said three to five monkeys are simultaneously tested for such a flight and two or three are chosen for the launch. Finally, the one that is best suited for the mission and isn’t stressed is chosen for the voyage.

State TV pictures seen by AP show the dark-haired monkey before and after the space flight, but a package of still pictures released by authorities showed the other monkey with the mole.

“I say this with certainty that the monkey is in good health and the space flight didn’t have any physical effect on Pishgam,” Ebrahimi said. “Some of the photos released by one of news agencies were not related to the time of flight. They were archive photos of the monkeys being prepared for the launch.”

Jonathan McDowell, a Harvard astronomer who tracks rocket launchings and space activity, also said this week’s monkey space flight was real, but he had a slightly different explanation for the photo mix-up. He claimed the light gray monkey with the mole died during a failed space mission in 2011.

“The monkey with the mole was the one launched in 2011 that died. The rocket failed. It did not get into space,” McDowell said. “They just mixed that footage with the footage of the 2013 successful launch.”

Iran has never confirmed that a monkey died in 2011, or that there was a failed mission that year.

Iran’s space officials said sending the monkey into space was a step toward Tehran’s goal of a manned space flight. However, the U.S. and its allies worry that the same technology used to launch rockets into space could also be used to develop long-range missiles.

With its ambitious aerospace program, Iran has said it wants to become a technological powerhouse for the Islamic world by 2026.

It’s not the first time Iran has announced it had rocketed a live creature out of the Earth’s atmosphere. The country sent a mouse, a turtle and some worms into space in 2010, officials said.

Pishgam was sent aboard an Explorer rocket and traveled to a height of 120 kilometers (72 miles), pushing into the threshold of space.

Ebrahimi said Iran plans to launch its first manned space mission within the next five to six years. He said it will be the first manned suborbital flight.

Hamid Fazeli, director of Iran’s space agency, said this week that Iran will launch a bigger rocket carrying a larger animal to obtain greater safety assurances before sending a man into space.

Iran says it wants to put its own satellites into orbit to monitor natural disasters in the earthquake-prone nation, improve telecommunications and expand military surveillance in the region.


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: "Pishgam" , Health Science , Iran , Jonathan McDowell , monkey space traveler , Science & Health , simian space traveller , space travel

  • WeAry_Bat

    That…That is Fulpol…

  • mon key

    if they can mix up photos of monkeys, then they can also mix up stories eh! so where is the video footage of the rocket going to space and then returning? they think that every one is a sucker. poor brother monkey! used by islamo Fascists to spread lies!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WYAZBOJYIUCRLWTYJBORBVTTOI boyfarmer

    send the ayatolah to outer space so that there will be freedom in Iran

  • eyeshield

    bakit kaya nasa business section to? 

    • virgoyap

      wrong news section to he he he…

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/LEIKNPNR6YYYYSO7W5CGCKEHOA dev

    where are the animal activist
    see what cruelty they doing with
    this animal.



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
Advertisement

News

  • Cardinal Tagle: Start new life with true peace
  • ‘Dry spell’ delayed, thanks to busted valve
  • At 77, Erap has Easter treat for Manila cops but keeps City Hall folk in agony
  • Joy Belmonte defends council, waste-to-energy tech
  • House bill seeks special body to manage, protect Manila Bay
  • Sports

  • Pacquiao top Mayweather contender
  • Rain or Shine, Ginebra clash for No. 6 spot
  • Ateneo eyes quarterfinal spot vs Benilde
  • Style contrast marks OneFC ‘Rise of Heroes’
  • ‘Pacquiao a great ambassador for basketball’
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • Why ‘Noah’ can’t dock his ark at Philippine theaters
  • Acclaimed artist goes wild while on holiday
  • Believing in this mermaid
  • Missing Xian
  • Awarded TV couple brings Jesus’ life to the big screen
  • Business

  • Top-selling insurance agent opens her dream café
  • Connecting and transacting with one another
  • Building wealth for health
  • Why Mandaue Foam buys, rather than rents, space
  • A workplace of new possibilities
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Epiphany
  • Unpaid creditor vs distressed debtor
  • Moving on
  • From culinary desert to paradise
  • Response to China: ‘Usjaphil’
  • Global Nation

  • Cesar Chavez movie sparks memories of Fil-Am labor leaders
  • Filipinos in US poised for success
  • Visas for priests and other faith leaders
  • DOH to continue tracking co-passengers of OFW infected with MERS virus
  • 5 Filipinos with MERS in UAE reported in stable condition
  • Marketplace