Iran claims to have launched a capsule that is capable of transporting animals into space.
On Wednesday, Iran announced that it successfully launched a capsule into space that can transport animals, in preparation for future human missions.
According to a report from the official IRNA news agency, the Telecommunications Minister, Isa Zarepour, stated that the capsule was launched 130 kilometers into orbit.
Zarepour announced that the 500-kilogram capsule was intended for launching Iranian astronauts into space in the near future. It was not mentioned whether any animals were onboard in the capsule.
The announcement was made on state television that Iran has set a goal to send astronauts into space by 2029. They will conduct additional tests involving animals before proceeding.
The television broadcast displayed visuals of a rocket called Salman transporting the capsule.
From time to time, Iran makes public declarations of their successful launches of satellites and other spacecraft. In September, Iran reported the successful launch of a satellite designed for data collection. Additionally, in 2013, Iran announced the successful launch and return of a monkey into space.
According to reports, the Defense Ministry of the country was responsible for constructing and launching the Salman rocket, while the Iranian civil space agency built the capsule. The media did not specify the location of the launch. Typically, Iran conducts launches from the Imam Khomenei Space Center located in the northern Semnan province.
Iran claims that its satellite initiative is primarily for scientific exploration and non-military purposes. However, the United States and other Western nations have expressed concern over the program, as it shares similarities with technology that can also be used for creating long-range missiles.
In 2020, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran announced the successful launch of the country’s first military satellite into orbit, revealing a covert space program according to experts.