Tehran: Iran acknowledged as a failure today its attempt to send a live monkey into space last month -- touted as its first step towards launching a man into space.
"The Kavoshgar-5 rocket carrying a capsule with a live animal (a monkey) was launched during Shahrivar," an Iranian calendar month spanning August 23 to September 22, Deputy Science Minister Mohammad Mehdinejad-Nouri was quoted as saying by the ISNA news agency.
"However, the launch was not publicised as all of its anticipated objectives were not accomplished," Mehdinejad-Nouri told reporters.
He said the launch of a live animal into space was"strategic, and a priority," and expressed hope that future launches would attain more of the objectives set.
On October 3, Iran indefinitely postponed plans to send a live monkey into space, without giving any reasons.
"One cannot give a set date for this project and as soonas our nation`s scientists announce the readiness (of the project) it will be announced," said Hamid Fazeli, head of
Iran`s Space Organisation.
The project envisaged launching a capsule with life support using the Kavoshgar-5 rocket to an altitude of 120 kilometres for a 20-minute sub-orbital flight.
The project was unveiled in February by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
At the time, Fazeli touted the launch of a large animal as the first step towards sending a man into space, which Tehran says is scheduled for 2020.
In mid-March, Iran announced the successful launch of an earlier version of the rocket, Kavoshgar-4, carrying a test capsule designed to house the monkey.