Iran says monkey sent to space

Saying the animal returned successfully, state TV calls mission another step towards goal of a manned space flight.

Iran rocket
The US fears Iran's space technology could be used to develop long-range missiles for nuclear warheads [EPA]

Iranian state TV says the country has successfully sent a monkey into space in what was described as another step towards the country’s goal of a manned space flight.

Monday’s report said the monkey was sent up in a Pishtam, or Explorer, rocket to a height of 120km. It gave no other details on the timing or location of the launch, but said the monkey returned safely.

Iran has said it seeks to send an astronaut into space as part of its ambitious aerospace programme.

In 2010, Iran said it launched a rocket into space carrying a mouse, turtle and worms.

The US and its allies worry that technology from the space programme could also be used to develop long-range missiles that could potentially be armed with nuclear warheads.

Source: News Agencies