Iran space monkey to be blasted off on liquid-fuel carrier

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An Iranian scientist holds a live monkey at an unknown location on January 28, 2013, which Iranian news agencies said returned alive after it traveled in a capsule to an altitude of 120 kilometres (75 miles) for a sub-orbital flight. Iran took a "big step" towards sending astronauts into space by 2020, successfully launching a monkey above the Earth's atmosphere, Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi told state television.

Credit:

AFP

Nearly a year ago Iran announced that it was launching a monkey into space to try out its rockets.

The monkey apparently returned safely but controversy ensued as the before and after launch monkey appeared to look dramatically different in photos.

The launch also had observers worried that such rocket technology could be used to fire nuclear missiles.

Despite the uproar, Iran announced this week that it would launch another monkey into space, according to an Iranian newspaper.

The unlucky monkey will be launched "on board a liquid-fuel carrier" next month said the deputy chief of Iran's space agency.

More from GlobalPost: Iran’s space monkey returns

Iran has also stated its interest in sending a Persian cat into space in a likely show of national pride, as well as mice and rabbits.

Iran said it was a prelude to sending humans into space in 2018.

After the first launch the US showed its displeasure with the notion of Iran testing long-range rockets.

"Our concern with Iran's development of space-launch vehicle technologies are obviously well known," said Victoria Nuland, US State Department at the time.

"Any space-launch vehicle capable of placing an object in orbit is directly relevant to the development of long-range ballistic missiles."

More from GlobalPost: Iran space monkey a fake? Skeptics say so (VIDEO)