Iran looks to put Persian cat into space
TEHERAN (AFP) - Iran has settled on a Persian cat as the best candidate for its latest trial for a manned space mission it hopes to make by 2020, state media reported on Monday.
The feline would be following in the footsteps of a menagerie of dogs and monkeys who were among the early stars of the US and Soviet space programmes in the 1960s.
But the announcement of its planned foray into the atmosphere aboard Iran's Kavoshgar satellite carrier prompted an outcry from animal rights groups.
Top space official Mohammad Ebrahimi told the state IRNA news agency that the mission could go ahead by March next year but previous launch dates have been put off without official explanation.