On Wednesday, Iran launched a rocket into space–with a special and somewhat wriggly payload.
One mouse, two turtles and some worms were packed into the “experimental capsule” in the “Kovoshgar 3” (Explorer 3) rocket and were given a one way ticket into the great yonder. The rat, nicknamed Helmz 1, and his buddies will now live out the rest of their lives on the rocket, their movements monitored by live video relayed from the space ark.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad exulted over the success, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, saying:
“We are two more steps away from reaching a point of no return. To a point where we bring all the skies under the domain of Iranian scientists.”
The Iranian Government, long suspected of having an illegal nuclear arms program, has insisted that Iran’s space program is for “peaceful means” only. But the West worries that the rockets built for the space program could be repurposed as delivery systems for nuclear warheads.
Watch a video of the launch here:
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