Ape-ollo: Iran sends monkey into space

Tuesday, 29th January 2013

Everyone's heard of Laika the dog, who became the first earthling in space when she was launched into orbit by the Soviet Union in 1957.

Now a grey-tufted macaque has followed in Laika's paw-steps after being sent to the stars by Iran, before re-entering the atmosphere and returning to Earth safe and sound.

Just as apes preceded humans in the evolutionary journey, it is thought that the unnamed monkey could become a pre-cursor to Iran sending a manned vessel into space.

However, while the monkey may have survived the journey unharmed, animal rights groups across the world have reacted with outrage to images of the ape being strapped into the rocket.

PETA said it was "appalled" at the photos released by the Iranian space agency showing the "visibly terrified monkey" as it prepared for its voyage.

While pet owners may lack the means to send their animals into orbit or put them through any astronaut training, the need to keep them fit and healthy should always remain a top priority.

Whether your animal takes small steps or giant leaps, daily exercise is essential for keeping them in shape, so even if you don’t plan on dressing them in a full-on space suit you might still want to consider investing in a new dog collar and lead.