On Wednesday, Iran announced that it successfully launched a capsule into orbit that is capable of transporting animals. This is part of their preparation for future human missions.
According to a report from the official IRNA news agency, Telecommunications Minister Isa Zarepour stated that the capsule was launched into orbit at a distance of 130 kilometers (80 miles).
Zarepour stated that the objective of launching the 500-kilogram (1,000-pound) capsule is to eventually send Iranian astronauts into space. He did not mention whether there were any animals inside the capsule.
According to an announcement on state television, Iran is aiming to launch astronauts into space by 2029. This goal will be pursued after conducting additional tests with animals.
The capsule was carried by a rocket known as Salman, as shown on state television.
From time to time, Iran reports successful achievements in launching satellites and spacecrafts. One such instance was in September when Iran announced the launch of a data-collecting satellite. In 2013, Iran also declared the successful launch and return of a monkey into space.
According to reports, the Salman rocket was developed and launched by the Defense Ministry of the country, while the capsule was created by the Iranian civil space agency. The media did not disclose the location of the launch. Typically, Iran conducts launches from the Imam Khomenei Space Center located in the northern province of Semnan.
The satellite program is stated to be for scientific research and non-military purposes. The United States and other Western nations have harbored doubts about the program due to its potential for creating long-range missiles.
In 2020, the Revolutionary Guard of Iran announced the successful launch of the country’s first military satellite, revealing a previously unknown space initiative, according to experts.