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Iran sends monkey into space in latest step toward manned flight

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Saturday, December 14, 2013, 10:21 PM -

Iran says it successfully sent a second monkey into space. 

Iran's state TV said that the launch of the rocket dubbed Pajohesh, or Research in Farsi, was Iran's first use of liquid fuel. It reached a height of 120 km. Official's said the monkey, named Fargam or Auspicious, was returned to earth safely. 

TV footage showed the rocket blasting off and then showed the monkey, strapped snugly into a seat. The report said Fargam's capsule parachuted safely to earth after detaching from the rocket in a mission that lasted 15 minutes.

The news agency says the launch was part of the nation's national research week. 

Iran made a similar announcement in January, saying it had launched its first monkey into space. 

But the U.S. State Department expressed skepticism then about the announcement, saying it had no way to confirm it happened. 

With files from The Associated Press

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