Iran indicated it had yet to reschedule a Kavoshgar 5 rocket launch previously slated to take place in July or August, Agence France-Presse reported on Monday (see GSN, Sept. 8).
Iranian Space Agency chief Hamid Fazeli in June said his nation would fire the rocket into orbit "during the month of Mordad (July 23 to Aug. 23) with a [628-pound] capsule carrying a monkey to an altitude of 120 kilometers (74 miles)."
Fazeil did not explain the cause of the delay in remarks reported on Monday by state media.
"One cannot give a set date for this project and as soon as our nation's scientists announce the readiness (of the project) it will be announced," the official said. "Our scientists are exerting continuous efforts on this project ... our colleagues are busy with empirical studies and subsystem testing of this project so it is a success," he added.
Iran wants to deliver a human into orbit in 2020, Fazeil said in March, as his country stated it had fired into orbit a Kavoshgar 4 rocket with a container intended to hold a monkey (see GSN, March 17). Tehran last year indicated it had used a rocket to send several small animals into space (see GSN, Feb. 3, 2010).
Iran's space program has drawn concerns from the global community, as technology used to place objects into orbit can also be applied to ballistic missiles. Worries on the nation's missile capabilities are twinned with suspicions that Tehran is operating a nuclear-weapon drive in the guise of a civilian program. Iran says its atomic activities have no military component (see related GSN story, today; Agence France-Presse/Google News, Oct. 3).