Report: Iran sends first 'life capsule' into orbit

AP News
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Posted: Mar 17, 2011 3:33 AM

Iran says it has sent the country's first space capsule that is able to sustain life into orbit as a test for a future mission that may carry a live animal.

The state IRNA news agency says the capsule was carried by a rocket dubbed Kavoshgar-4 _ or Explorer-4 in Farsi _ some 75 miles (120 kilometers) into orbit.

The launch of the capsule is a part of Iran's ambitious space program. Thursday's report provides no other details about the "life capsule" but said it was launched on Tuesday.

Last year, Iran sent its first domestically made telecommunications satellite into orbit and announced it had successfully launched a rocket carrying a mouse, turtle and worms into space for research purposes.

There are concerns Iran's space program could also bolster its ballistic missile program.