Friday, June 17, 2011

Iraq launches satellite, plans monkey

This week, Iraq launched its second satellite, Rassad-1. As it gains experience, the nation will no doubt launch bigger and more sophisticated craft, especially for Earth observation (or spying, either way you want to put it). Iran says its Fajr reconsat will be launched this fall.
The problematical nation intends to push into a new field: launching primates. Iran intends to launch a monkey on a suborbital trajectory this summer. The monkey will reach an altitude of 120km. Tehran says this is a prelude to orbiting a man in 2020.
COMMENT: While other nations understandably worry about what Iran's space program says about its ballistic missile capabilities, what the Iranian program demonstrates is that knowledge of space technology is spreading. Some 50 nations now have space agencies. We are a spacefaring world.

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