Iran sends monkey to space

Iranian state television said Monday, Jan. 28, that the country’s scientists succeeded to send a monkey into space.  While it is being celebrated in Iran, the United States has speculations as to whether or not this monkey business actually happened.

monkeyinspace

Illustration by Bella Temple

“Somebody asked me how we would know if  [Iran] sent someone 75 miles up,” astronomy teacher Clint Reck said. “The United States government would know about it.  But as of Tuesday, they confirmed yes, that they did send a missile that high into the air.”

An earlier attempt in 2011 to send a monkey into space failed. A year earlier Iran said they sent a turtle, a mouse and worms into space without fail. The scientists predict that sending a human into space will be possible in about the next five to eight years.

“It is a great accomplishment,” Reck said, “but it is terrifying because they are trying to develop a nuclear weapon, and now they are developing something that can carry a nuclear bomb.”

The idea to send animals instead of humans into space came from the race of the Soviet Union and the Unites States to accomplish space flight in the 1940s and 1950s during the Cold War. The United States attempted in 1949 to send a Rhesus monkey into space, but the animal died when a parachute malfunctioned.

Eight years later, in 1957, Moscow’s scientists became the first to launch an animal—a dog named Laikon—into orbit. In 1961, the Soviet Union also won the race to send a human to space when a man named Yuri A. Gagarin became the first to orbit the earth.

 

 

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