- Military bans troops from Baptist church event honoring ‘God’s Rescue Squad’
- ‘Pocket drones’: U.S. Army developing tiny surveillance tools for the next big war
- Belgian cafe posts sign: Dogs allowed, but Jews stay out
- Gen. Dempsey: Pentagon studying Russian readiness plans not viewed ‘for 20 years’
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is ‘torture’
- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
- HAYDEN: Intelligence, evidence and the case against Russia
- Ohio university quiz implies atheists are naturally smarter than Christians
- Rep. Henry Cuellar on border crisis: ‘Playing defense on the one-yard line’
Iranian space monkey, take two: Nation claims second successful rocket test
Question of the Day
TEHRAN, Iran — Iran said Saturday it has successfully sent a monkey into space for a second time, part of an ambitious program aimed at manned space flight.
Iran's state TV said that the launch of the rocket dubbed Pajohesh, or Research in Farsi, was Iran's first use of liquid fuel and reached a height of 120 kilometers (72 miles). It said the monkey, named Fargam or Auspicious, was returned to earth safely.
The TV showed the rocket blasting off and then showed the monkey, strapped snugly into a seat, staring at people clapping to celebrate its safe return. The report said Fargam's capsule parachuted safely to earth after detaching from the rocket in a mission that lasted 15 minutes.
Iran frequently claims technological breakthroughs that are impossible to independently verify. The Islamic Republic has said it seeks to send an astronaut into space as part of an ambitious aerospace program.
"The launch of Pajohesh is another long step getting the Islamic Republic of Iran closer to sending a man into space," the official IRNA news agency said.
State TV said scientists were able to monitor and measure signals coming from the rocket, including Fargam's vital signs, during the flight.
Iran said that it sent its first monkey into space in January, reaching the same height of 120 kilometers (72 miles).
For Iran, its aerospace program is a source of national pride. It's also one of the pillars of Iran's aspirations to be seen as the technological hub for Islamic and developing countries.
The U.S. and its allies worry that technology from the space program could also be used to develop long-range missiles that could potentially be armed with nuclear warheads.
In the January mission, one of two official packages of photos of the simian space traveler depicted the wrong monkey, causing some international observers to wonder whether the monkey had died in space or that the launch didn't go well.
But Iranian officials later said one set of pictures showed an archive photo of one of the alternate monkeys. They said three to five monkeys are simultaneously tested for such a flight and two or three are chosen for the launch. Finally, the one that is best suited for the mission and isn't stressed is chosen for the voyage.
The Islamic Republic has not revealed where the rocket launch took place, but it has a major satellite launch complex near Semnan, about 200 kilometers (125 miles) east of Tehran.
Iran says it wants to put its own satellites into orbit to monitor natural disasters in the earthquake-prone nation, improve telecommunications and expand military surveillance of the region.
TWT Video Picks
Second- and third-stringers eye 2016 if front-runner stumbles
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Russia shipping sophisticated weapons systems to Ukraine separatists
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- 'Pocket drones': U.S. Army developing tiny spies for the next big war
- Michelle Obama says money in politics is bad, asks donors for 'big, fat check'
- EDITORIAL: Detroit's water 'spigot bigots'
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is 'torture'
- Brian Kelly, Notre Dame ready for different route to title
- White House readies for House GOP impeachment push: 'Foolish' to ignore
- Presidents of Honduras, Guatemala blame U.S. for border children crisis
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq