Head of Iran Space Agency (ISA) Hamid Fazeli says the country plans to send a live monkey into space onboard the country’s domestically-made Kavoshgar 5 (Explorer 5) satellite carrier.
“Kavoshgar 5, with a weight of 285 kg, will blast off into space with a living creature (a monkey) in the next Iranian calendar month (that begins on July 23),” IRNA quoted Fazeli as saying on Monday.
He further explained that Kavoshgar 5 has a structural built similar to the Omid (Hope) satellite, Iran’s first domestically-produced satellite which launched into orbit in 2009.
The Omid data-processing satellite was designed to circle the Earth 15 times per day and to transmit data via two frequency bands and eight antennas to an Iranian space station.
Fazeli also pointed out that five monkeys are currently undergoing experiments to get ready for the launch. The monkeys are taking exercises to “withstand physical and orbital pressure, acceleration, sound [boom], vibrations and other elements during the lift-off.”
The ISA head noted that certain changes have been made in the subsystem of the Kavoshgar 5 carrier and said it needs to use liquid fuel as it has been modified to accelerate more than its previous prototypes.
On June 20, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran has obtained the technology to develop different satellites and will soon launch giant satellites that will be placed in circular orbits at an altitude of nearly 35,000 kilometers (21,748 miles) above the Earth’s surface.
The space capsule designed to carry the living creature was unveiled by President Ahmadinejad in February.
In February, the Iranian chief executive unveiled Kavoshgar 4 (Explorer 4) and three other national satellites Fajr (Dawn), Rasad (Observation), Amirkabir I, Zafar (Victory) and the Kavoshgar 4 (Explorer 4) satellite carrier.
On March 17, Iran successfully launched its first domestically-made bio-capsule of ‘sustaining life’ by producing oxygen by the use of dry ice into space by Kavoshgar 4 satellite carrier.
Fazeli had previously said that Kavoshgar’s first mission was intended to assess the performance of the space explorer’s systems and subsystems along with the launching pad, elevating mechanism, and the bio-capsule.
Iran is one of the 24 founding members of the United Nations’ Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, which was set up in 1959.
Tehran also plans to launch the country’s first manned mission to space by 2019.
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