Iran launches rat, two turtles, some worms into space
Tiny space ark 'entirely peaceful', says general
The Iranian government says it has launched its third spacecraft, this time carrying "a rat, two turtles," and an unspecified number of "worms" on a one-way trip into space. The rat, according to reports, is named "Helmz 1".
Press TV, the state-controlled Iranian English-language channel, reports that the "Kavoshgar 3" (Explorer 3) rocket launched successfully yesterday and placed an "experimental capsule" into orbit. Press TV quotes the Iranian Aerospace Organization as saying that the capsule can relay live video from the tiny space ark in which Helmz 1 and his companions will live out the rest of their lives.
Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi, defence minister, "hailed" the successful launch, and "insisted" that the Iranian space programme is entirely peaceful in nature.
"Iran will not tolerate any un-peaceful use [of space] by any country," the general was quoted as saying.
Nonetheless Iran is widely suspected of wishing to acquire long-ranged strategic missiles. A nation capable of putting payloads into orbit has most of the tech required to deliver similar packages over intercontinental distances.
Large parts of the US missile-defence programme, indeed, are specifically stated to be for use in stopping possible future nuclear-tipped ICBM strikes from Iran. However it is widely acknowledged that as yet, Tehran has neither nukes nor rockets capable of carrying them. Some analysis suggests that the nukes will arrive within just a few years, but the ability to fit them onto intercontinental rockets is another matter entirely.
“The reality is [the Iranian missile threat] did not come as fast as we thought it’d come,” said General James Cartwright, vice-chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, last summer. ®
And in related news...
The Government are now warning that Iran may be able to launch rockets containing plague carrying rats and have raised the National Security Level to "frantic".
Why were there no elephants standing on the turtle's back and, more importantly, what sex is the turtle?
I'm sure that all the executed homosexuals and political protestors find it reassuring that you can be Christian or Jewish in Iran. You may want to ask some of the people who've converted from Islam to another religion what their opinion is, oh, you can't, they get executed too.
Oh also, if you're a female lawyer in Iran, there has to be two of you to sign a document that one man can sign, because women aren't as good as men, apparently.