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Monkey Photo Embarrasses Iran, Calls Into Doubt Their Space Program

Quit monkeying around Iran, the world community seems to be saying. Very recently, Iran boasted of putting its very first primate into space and to bring him safely back to Earth. However, the image of a monkey, which Iranian officials claim is the ‘wrong picture’, has shattered Iran’s claims. People have several questions: did the landing happen? Did the monkey survive the journey? Or even, did the mission ever happen?

The monkey strapped up before being sent to space. (Photo Courtesy: AP/Getty Images)

Not the same Monkey!

Iran’s rocket Pishtam (meaning ‘pioneer’ in Parsi) was scheduled to carry a primate, a grizzly monkey, into space. The mission would last 20 minutes. The release of a picture showing a monkey which bears little resemblance to the one supposedly launched into space has now called into question the veracity of Iran’s claims. What happened to the other monkey?

The two monkeys

The new photo clearly shows a monkey with dark fur and narrower nose, while the one supposedly launched was grizzlier and had a distinctive red mole over the right eye.

The Pishtam launch vehicle. (Courtesy: AP/Getty Images)

The doubts increase further since there were no landing photos released by Iran, despite there being launch photos. Some are calling the whole mission a hoax, and it seems justified too!

The interest in Iran’s space launch is because any space launch capability directly influences the state’s ability to develop long-range ballistic missiles. Topped with a nuclear warhead and a regime not afraid to use nuclear weapons, this could be a deadly combination.

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