Take your pick: Iran sending monkey, mouse, rabbit or cat into space

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Iran has imminent plans to send a domestic animal (a monkey, a mouse, a rabbit, or a cat) into space, according to a statement released by Iran’s Space Agency.

Physical and technical tests have been conducted on a number of animals a pan-Arab news site al-Bawaba quoted research center director Mohammad Ebrahimi as saying.

The space agency predicts that the permits needed to send the animal into space will be obtained within the next couple of months.

The animal will be put on board the Pishgam (Pioneer) II space capsule, Iran Space Agency director Hamid Fazeli told reporters in Tehran on Saturday.

Unlike the first rocket which was solid-fueled, the Pishgam II rocket will use liquid propellant, according to Fazeli, reported al-Bawaba.

Earlier this year, Iranian state TV showed images of a monkey strapped into a harness, being taken to a rocket.
Western nations have expressed concern over Iran's space program, speculating that it is being used to develop long-range missiles.

According to the BBC, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced in 2010 that the country planned to send a man into space by 2019.

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