Pishgam might not be a word you are familiar with but it could be soon. After all, it is the name of the rocket which sent an Iranian monkey into space recently.
In fact, we aren’t sure if the monkey was Iranian or not but the rocket definitely was, and it marked another stage in the country’s space programme.
The rocket climbed up to an altitude of around 75 miles in a sub orbital flight before coming back down to Earth. The Iranian Defence Ministry confirmed that the rocket got back safely, “returning its shipment intact”, which we think means that the monkey is ok.
Strapped in and Ready to Go
Some Western countries have admitted to having concerns about the space programme underway in Iran and whether it is part of a plan to produce long range missiles which could, theoretically, carry nuclear warheads on them.
The Iranian authorities have denied this and have stated that instead of being part of nuclear programme their rocket development is being pursued for purely peaceful ends.
As attention grabbing as idea of sending a monkey into space is, some technology experts have confirmed that it doesn’t really represent a big step forward from what the country has already managed in its space programme. They have already carried out some tests which proved the same sort of capabilities in their rockets, although the survival of the monkey would confirm that the acceleration and deceleration speeds were acceptable.
The President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has said that they will put a human into space by 2019, having already sent a turtle, a rat and some worms up into the sky.