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IRAN: Scientists launch first 'bio-capsule' to test whether craft can sustain life in orbit

March 17, 2011 |  8:03 am

Rocket iran

Iranian researchers say they have launched the Islamic Republic's first "bio-capsule" into space in order to test the technology's ability to sustain life in orbit, the official Iranian news agency IRNA reported Thursday. If successful, the test could lead to future missions carrying live animals, the agency added.

The capsule was carried 75 miles into orbit on Tuesday by the Kavoshgar-4 rocket. Kavoshgar means "explorer" in Persian.

The announcement comes the same week Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei paid a high-profile visit to an exhibition on the Islamic Republic's scientific and technological achievements in an attempt to highlight what state media has referred to as the country's cutting-edge aerospace technology. 

Iran sent its first domestically made satellite, Omid, into orbit in 2009.

--Ramin Mostaghim in Tehran

Photo: The Kavoshgar rocket. Credit: Press TV