Iran's Next 'Monkey Astronaut' Coming Soon
Iran plans to send yet another monkey into space...that is, assuming the last monkey sent into space wasn’t a fake.
According to Press TV, the Deputy Head of the Iran Space Agency (ISA), Hamid Fazeli, said on the weekend the Islamic Republic plans to send another indigenous bio-capsule with a live monkey onboard into space.
Fazeli said that preparation for sending another monkey into space is complete and it can be sent by the end of next month.
Last month, Iran announced plans to send a monkey, a mouse, a rabbit, or a cat into space.
In January, Iran proudly claimed that it sent a live monkey into space, then succeeded in bringing it back alive.
However, photos that were published by the Islamic Republic of the monkey which it claimed had come back from space appeared markedly different than the creature that was picture strapped into a rocked prior to its launch into space.
The country’s president at the time, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, subsequently said that he is willing to be the first Iranian sent into space on behalf of the nation’s space program.
"Sending living things into space is the result of Iranian efforts and the dedication of thousands of Iranian scientists," he said.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) later had some fun with Ahmadinejad’s announcement, when he tweeted, “So Ahmadinejad wants to be first Iranian in space - wasn't he just there last week?” citing the story on the monkey being sent into space.
The message, which was retweeted more than 2,000 times, quickly received criticism, with many calling the senator’s comment “racist.”