A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

One Small Step for a Rat, Two Turtles and Some Worms . . .

Iran has launched a white rat, two turtles, and some worms into space. Although some wire services are reporting this as a satellite launch, and it came on the anniversary of Iran's first satellite launch, other accounts suggest that while Iran was testing a potential satellite carrier rocket, it was not an orbital mission, though there seems to be a suggestion the animal package was recovered. Here's a YouTube video:

The West is already expressing concern about Iran's space capabilities because obviously satellite launchers are also long-range missiles. But Iran's peaceful exploration of space ought not to be in itself a cause for alarm. They aren't going to shoot turtles at us.

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