Thursday, February 4, 2010

I picked THREE news reports of this Iran Rocket might not have seen coverage of this event. The payload of animals is a bit puzzling...

Iran says its rocket carried animals into space
Thursday, February 04, 2010
By Alan Cowell, The New York Times

PARIS -- In what seemed designed as a display of technological advance, Iran said Wednesday that it had fired a rocket into space carrying living organisms -- a rat, two turtles and worms, according to the state-run Press TV.

The test of what was described as the Kavoshgar-3 rocket, capable of carrying satellites, came as Iranian government faced challenges on many fronts.

Iran is preparing to celebrate the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, but it is locked in a dispute with the United States and other powers over its nuclear program, and its leaders are facing the worst political crisis since the revolution after last June's flawed presidential election.

Iran's missile program has prompted worries among Western analysts that it is working on a weapons-delivery system with broad regional consequences. In December, Iran said it test-fired an improved version of its most advanced missile, the Sejil-2, capable of reaching Israel and parts of Europe.

The Wednesday launching came a day after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad suggested that his country would support an agreement to export Iran's low-enriched nuclear fuel, a deal supported by the United States and other Western countries that seeks to head off a crisis over Tehran's nuclear program.

Mr. Ahmadinejad's comments, reported by Press TV, appeared to contradict Iran's rejection of the deal a few weeks ago, extending a series of ever-shifting public statements by Tehran on whether it would accept or reject the U.N.-brokered accord. Diplomatic officials greeted Mr. Ahmadinejad's remarks with skepticism.

Earlier, officials in Washington said the Obama administration was accelerating deployment of new defenses against possible Iranian missile attacks in the Persian Gulf, placing special ships off the Iranian coast and anti-missile systems in at least four Arab countries.

Press TV said Wednesday that the Kavoshgar, or Explorer, was the third of its type to be launched since February 2008 and was carrying an experimental capsule to transfer telemetric data, live pictures and other information to Earth. A second Kavoshgar was launched in November 2008, Press TV said. The model launched Wednesday was described as an updated version of the earlier rockets.

One year ago, Iran said it launched a domestically made telecommunications and research satellite, the Omid, into orbit. Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said the space program was specifically for peaceful purposes, and that Iran would not tolerate "any unpeaceful use of space by any country," the official IRNA news agency said.

State television broadcast what it said were images of the Kavoshgar-3 hurtling from a desert launch pad, leaving a thick vapor trail. Before the launching, officials were shown putting what looked like living organisms inside a capsule placed in the rocket.

Also Wednesday, Iran unveiled another satellite carrier, Simorgh-3, and three new domestically built satellites.

Read more:


Missile test-fired by Iran has potential bioweapon capabilities
by Ted Purlain on February 4, 2010

Iran has announced the successful test firing of a new satellite-carrying rocket containing an "experimental capsule" with live species inside that has raised the spectre of potential biological or chemical attacks.

The launch of the Kavoshgar 3 rocket has been condemned by the United States as a "provocative act," and comes at a time when the U.S. has openly said that it was upgrading its missile defense systems in countries neighboring Iran.

Suspicions currently center on the test firing representing a potential test for a long-range nuclear, biological or chemical weapon. The Islamic regime in Iran denies that there is a link between its missile and nuclear programs.

The test launch also has raised fears as it comes only days before February 11, a date on which Iranian President Ahmadinejad said the Islamic Republican would deliver a blow to "global arrogance."

The rocket's experimental capsule, which allows animals to survive a space journey, can also carry a weaponized virus or chemical weapon, experts fear. The Iranian regime is presumed to possess such weapons and, with this new rocket, would be able to deliver them to the other side of the world.

Before such an event is possible, however, Iran would need to fine tune the rocket's accuracy and munitions dispersal.


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